Millionaire 'Mary' Ona Unwin missing at sea
The search for a former Tewkesbury millionaire who has been missing since she set sail on her newly-purchased yacht on Saturday has been called off.
A full-scale air and sea operation lasting around 30 hours was launched on Saturday night after skipper Ona Mary Unwin failed to make contact with her husband.
Fears are fading for the 65-year-old known as Mary, who was last seen when she left Cornwall on her 31ft yacht, called Seagair, at 6.30pm on Saturday.
Yesterday a number of search and rescue teams were hunting for Mrs Unwin and Seagair. At lunchtime, Falmouth Coastguard confirmed debris, including bits of wood, was found in Sennen Cove near Lands End.
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Although the wreckage has not been formally identified, Falmouth Coastguard said it was likely to be that of the missing Seagair.
She lived in a nine bedroom home in Tewkesbury’s Longdon Hall until 2009 when she moved to Bideford in North Devon.
She re-married multi-million property developer, Carol, 61, just before she went missing.
At 5pm, the coastguard confirmed the search had been “terminated” and said there were no intentions for it to be re-started.
The spokesperson confirmed there were “similarities” between the missing Seagair and the debris, which was discovered in the water and on the beach surrounding Cowloe Rocks.
Ian Guy, watch manager at Falmouth Coastguard, said: "It's not 100 per cent confirmed that the debris found is from the yacht we are looking for but we are fairly confident.
"Looking at the time elapsed, it is at least 30 hours. That time in the water is well beyond what we would consider survivable.
"It doesn't look good. We have no current plans to continue the search. That may be reviewed tomorrow."
Devon and Cornwall Police said the wreckage was “suspected” to be that of Seagair but said it would need to be formally identified and examined.
Coastguard crews, search and rescue helicopters from RMB Chivenor and RNAS Culdorse and a host of lifeboats have been searching the water, marinas and ports between Penzance and Bideford for the last 30 hours.
Ona Mary Unwin left Mousehole to go to her hometown of Bideford at 6.30pm on Saturday, after purchasing 'Seagair' for around £32,000 on Thursday from Falmouth Yacht Brokers.
Her husband, Carol, who she recently remarried, alerted the emergency services after she failed to make contact on Sunday night as expected.
She was last seen by marina workers who slipped her boat's moorings in Mousehole. Local sailors warned her she would not be able to handle the journey alone but she ignored them and sailed off.
Steve Huxley, Search and Rescue Communications Manager at Falmouth Coastguard, said she "hadn't been sailing for a few years".
“The woman departed Mousehole on Saturday evening onboard her newly purchased vessel. We understand that she was heading for Bideford.
"We have been unable to find her and are very concerned for her safety."