Estranged husband scuttles his £40,000 boat to spite wife

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When Mark Bridgwood saw an advertisement in his local newspaper - placed by his estranged wife, Tracey - selling his 49ft yacht at a fraction of its true value, he reacted badly.

The £100,000 vessel, named Rebel, was being sold for £40,000. So Mr Bridgwood scuttled the yacht, smashing open valves below the water line to sink the boat in Dartmouth harbour, south Devon.

Rebel will be lifted from the bed of the River Dart by salvage divers today. And Mr Bridgwood will be sent a bill for the cost of recovering the yacht from the river bed, which is expected to run into five figures.

Dartmouth harbour master Captain David White said: "There has obviously been some sort of argument. There is no doubt it was deliberately scuttled.

"It is a snip at £40,000. It has got air conditioning, a washing machine and modern navigation equipment - it is a comfortable boat."

Captain White added: "The Dart Harbour Navigation Authority at the moment are footing all the costs. It would be totally unfair to pass on the costs of an act of deliberate sabotage." Police have interviewed Mr Bridgwood, but have concluded that that because he sunk his own property, he has not committed a criminal offence.