Decomposed body of Brit, 42, trying to sail solo round the world found on yacht

A British man last seen alive almost two months ago while trying to sail solo around the world has been found dead on his yacht.

Window cleaner Mark Brennan's decomposed body was discovered on his 30-ft boat, the Avrio, about 80 miles off Jamaica.

The "inexperienced" sailor, 42, had travelled across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and was last seen leaving the island of Grenada on the night of December 6.

Fellow sailors say the Avrio "had dirty fuel issues, no radio or cellular telephone, and he [Mr Brennan] had lost his dinghy in the trans-Atlantic crossing".

A search and rescue plane from Curacao spotted the yacht drifting in the sea about 150 miles north-east of Aruba three times between December 19 and 21.


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Its sails were furled, or rolled up, and there were no signs of life, according to Boat Watch, a civilian group which shares information about overdue and missing vessels around the world.

"At that time there was no signs of life aboard visible from the air. It is unknown if the captain is onboard the vessel," the group wrote on Facebook.

Late last month, Mr Brennan, from South Shields, Tyne and Wear, was reported missing by his family in the UK.

Coast guards in the Caribbean and ships were told to be on the lookout for the yacht, but the search came to a tragic end in the early hours of Monday.

US Coast Guard members spotted the vessel drifting in the sea and alerted Jamaica's Defence Force Coast Guard, which recovered the boat north-west of Ocho Rios and confirmed that a body was on board.

The Avrio, which was flying a British flag, was towed to a marina in Port Antonio, Jamaica, and Mr Brennan's body was taken to a funeral home, the Observer reported.

Jamaican police are investigating the cause of Mr Brennan's death.

After departing the UK and sailing across the Atlantic, Mr Brennan arrived in Barbados and then travelled to Grenada, arriving on December 2.

Boat Watch wrote: "The ocean crossing was hard on both MARK BRENAN [sic], who is still a somewhat inexperienced sailor.

"The S/V AVRIO had dirty fuel issues, no radio or cellular telephone, and he had lost his dinghy in the trans-Atlantic crossing."

He was last seen leaving Grenada at about 8pm on December 6.

Boat Watch wrote: "MARK BRENAN [sic] was observed driving his boat out of the marina on 06 DEC 2019 at approximately 2000 hours.

"It was dark outside, and his navigational tri color masthead light was functioning."

The blue and white yacht had "TYC" – standing for Thurrock Yacht Club in Essex – on the stern.

The vessel's previous owner was a member of the club, Boat Watch wrote.

A military plane from Curacao spotted the vessel adrift just after 10pm on December 19, and again at 11.10am on December 20 and at 9pm on December 21.

Curacao's search and rescue team snapped an aerial photo of the boat and, after the first sighting, alerted the US Coast Guard in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The team in San Juan had seen Boat Watch's BOLO ("be on the lookout") regarding the Avrio and connected the dots that it was Mr Brennan's yacht.

It is understood that an air search and rescue team used a thermal imaging camera to detect signs of life on board, but there were none.

Ships in the area were alerted and asked to check on the yacht, but none were close enough.

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