The yacht was worth tens of thousands of pounds.

The hopes of a yacht owner were cruelly dashed when he learned his vessel had been sunk by the Irish navy just before he claimed it.

The yacht, Troll, had sailed alone for 3,000 miles across the Atlantic from Bermuda before being spotted off the coast of the UK.

Thomas Mallanut, from Germany, had to abandon his 25ft boat when his wife became seriously ill.

Almost a year later, he was contacted to say that the boat had been spotted and Mr Mallanut hurried to Cornwall where a local man, David Chidwell, had offered to help recover the ship.

However, when he arrived, Mr Mallanut discovered that his yacht had been boarded and sunk by the Irish navy who considered it a danger to shipping.

Cornish coast

Mr Chidell, of Mylor Bridge, near Truro, said: “It’s a sad end to the story because I had been hoping to help Tom find his yacht as it drifted past the Cornish coast.

“I can’t believe it had travelled 2,700 miles in 10 months, and it could have drifted north towards Greenland last winter. It’s incredible it survived.

“Tom never wanted to abandon his yacht but he had no choice – his wife became very ill. She was unable to drink or eat. She couldn’t keep it down.

“He had to put out an appeal for rescue and a tanker then came to their aid,” Mr Chidwell told The Telegraph.

“He had to decide whether to stay with his seriously ill wife or with the boat. He decided to stay with his wife.”

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  • Sinik

    Of course not. Sub-editors were exterminated a long time ago. I’m not convinced there are any Editors nowadays. You know, proper Editors. Like we used to have.

  • Shane Kennedy

    We Irish don’t like boats ! Successive governments have been trying to convince us that we are not an Island. I am convinced that they told the Captain of Asgard III, to abandon the boat. She took 5 hours to sink without pumps, 5 hours from safety. I am convinced that inspectors were told to prohibit Jeanie Johnson from leaving port. The Naval Service boards and inspect Irish fishing vessels rather than foreign ones fishing illegally in Irish waters, and they sink vessels rather than even trying to take them under tow or getting a crew on board to bring it in !

  • Tom

    “…had sailed alone for 3,000 mails across the Atlantic…”
    I hadn’t realised that transatlantic mail was still transported by sailing vessels. Are there no sub-editors any more?

  • Daz Ryan

    And the Irish Navy could not board it and take it into port? Seems an odd way to environmentally solve the problem. Do fish like burnt fibreglass?