Body of Weymouth sailor Jeff Cole found in sea cove

Jeff Cole
Image caption Jeff Cole was described as an experienced sailor used to making solo voyages

The body of a missing Dorset sailor whose yacht was found off the northern coast of France has been discovered in a sea cove in Devon.

Jeff Cole, 61, from Weymouth, is believed to have set sail from the town on 21 September bound for Swanage.

Mr Cole's yacht was found on 23 September between Boulogne and Calais with no-one aboard.

A Dorset Police spokesman said the body was found earlier in a cove just off Exmouth.

Mr Cole was described as an experienced sailor who was used to making solo voyages.

'Great sadness'

Police said the journey Mr Cole was planning was one he had done numerous times before.

Image caption The yacht was found between Dieppe and Calais with no-one aboard

His yacht, Palamina, was last sighted at about 10:30 BST on 21 September off St Aldhelm's Head near Swanage.

But two days later the French coastguard found the 27ft boat washed ashore in the area of Gris Nez.

The spokesman added: "The male has been positively identified as the missing Dorset man Geoffrey Cole who was last seen in September sailing his boat off the Dorset coast.

"The next of kin have been informed and asked for their privacy to be respected at this most difficult time.

"Dorset Police would like to thank the public and the various maritime agencies for their assistance in tracing Mr Cole."

A statement by Castle Cove Sailing Club had expressed "great sadness" after Mr Cole's disappearance.

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