Body found on board yacht in Caribbean in search for South Shields window cleaner Mark Brennan

The body of a South Shields window cleaner has been found on board his yacht in the Caribbean.

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 12:48 pm
Port Antonio, Jamaica, where Mark Brennan's boast has been taken. Picture: Google Streetview

Mark Brennan, 42, from South Shields, was reported missing to Northumbria Police on December 21 after setting sail on a solo trip to the Caribbean.

He was last seen leaving a marina in Grenada on December 6 having crossed the Atlantic Ocean.

Almost two months later Mr Brennan’s boat - named the Avrio - was spotted 71 miles off the Jamaica coast earlier this week.

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On Wednesday, January 29 the website Boatwatch reported that the Avrio had been found with a body on board.

According to the volunteer-run site that helps track missing boats, Mr Brennan arrived in Grenada from Barbados on December 2 after crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

His boat was seen leaving a marina in Grenada on December 6, with concerns over his welfare being raised 10 days later, the website said.

It described Mr Brennan as "a somewhat inexperienced sailor" and claimed his boat, named Avrio, had "no radio or cellular telephone" and had lost its dinghy in the trans-Atlantic crossing.

The boat was picked up by the Jamaican coastguard and brought to Port Antonio in the east of the country.

A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: "We can confirm a 42-year-old from South Shields was reported missing on December 21 after he had set sail to the Caribbean.

"Inquiries have been ongoing to trace him, and we have since been made aware that authorities in Jamaica have recovered a body on a boat.

"A formal identification process is ongoing but it is suspected that the body is that of the South Shields man.

"The relevant authorities in Jamaica are carrying out inquiries to establish the cause of death and we will continue to support their investigation in conjunction with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

"The man's family are being offered support by officers and they have requested that their privacy is respected at this time."

A FCO spokeswoman said: "We are supporting the family of a British man reported as missing in the Caribbean, and are in contact with the Jamaican authorities."