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Police watchdog to investigate Scilly yacht man death

By CMCherie  |  Posted: July 04, 2013

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The Independent Police Complains Commission is investigating the death of a yachtsman during a drugs raid

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Police watchdogs are investigating the death of a Dutchman who fell from the mast of his yacht during a £20million drugs sting.

The 62 year old is believed to have fallen or jumped from the vessel's mast after Border Force officers raided the yacht while it was moored at the Isles of Scilly on June 17.

The man was airlifted to Treliske but he died in hospital.

The yacht, Windrose, was later towed to Newlyn harbour where 124 kilos of cocaine was found aboard.

Initially moored to the south quay in St Mary's Harbour, she was rescued by the Isles of Scilly's all-weather lifeboat nine miles off the Bishop Rock lighthouse.

She was on her way from Portugal to Falmouth when her solo skipper made a mayday call to Falmouth coastguard complaining of fatigue and having trouble with his rigging. The vessel was stormed by Border Force officers the following day.

The death has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which has confirmed it will oversee an externally-managed investigation by Devon and Cornwall police.

Preliminary investigations have been carried out and efforts are still under way to contact the family of the man.

IPCC Commissioner Jennifer Izekor said: "The IPCC investigation will focus on the contact between UK Border Force officers and the deceased, and examine the events leading up to his death to ensure that all relevant policies and procedures including adequate risk assessments were followed."

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