Harbourmaster Shocked By Quay Death

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The St Mary’s Harbourmaster says he’s shocked and stunned by the incident on Monday evening, when a man was fatally injured aboard a yacht moored at the quay.

Dale Clark says “this sort of thing just doesn’t happen here in Scilly” and it has caught everyone on the back foot. He says his team have been left ‘numb’ by the tragedy and can’t understand how it’s happened.

The 62 year-old Dutch national fell from the top of the mast of his yacht, the Windrose, which was being inspected as part of a Border Force operation.

The day before, the solo yachtsman had been rescued by St Mary’s lifeboat en-route from Portugal after suffering damage to its rigging.

Quay users saw the man earlier fixing his rigging at the top of the mast. Dale said he had been doing repairs during Monday and was making good progress with that.

But Dale is unhappy with the way some mainland media have implied that the incident happened quickly and was down to a raid.

St Mary's Harbourmaster, Dale Clark

St Mary’s Harbourmaster, Dale Clark

The man was not arrested and Border Force staff spent two hours inspecting the vessel before the man leapt to the quayside.

The agency has declined an interview and it’s uncertain why the boat, which had travelled for 15 days from the Algarve, was of interest.

Dale says the quay has good quality CCTV coverage, which shows the events as they unfolded.

There was no chase at all and the man appeared to calmly scale the mast. Witnesses say he appeared determined to jump.

Police have viewed the recording and the Independent Police Complaints Commission and CID are investigating the case.

The Border Force has seized the yacht and it’s been under guard all night by their staff and their vessel. It’s thought that it may be taken away by the agency today.

Dale said he’s grateful for everyone’s understanding during the time the quay was closed. He said people have pulled together and recognised it was a serious incident.

No one had grumbled about the disruption, he said.