Photo released of missing sailor Leonard King

Pratical Boat Owner: Enquiries continue into the disappearance of yachtsman Leonard King on Sunday. Police making enquiries into a yachtsman’s disappearance off Brighton have released a photograph of the missing sailor.

Leonard King, aged 74, of Alfriston, East Sussex hasn’t been seen since Sunday lunchtime after setting in his 70ft Sunseeker boat. An extensive search got underway on Sunday evening when Mr King did not return home as expected and his luxury motor cruiser was found drifting at Brighton marina.

The search, which has now been suspended pending new information, involved the Shoreham and Newhaven Coastguard Rescue teams, Shoreham, Newhaven and Brighton lifeboats.

Conditions were so challenging that the RAF helicopter Rescue 125 had to be stood down due to an active lightning storm in the area. After searching throughout the night, Brighton, Shoreham and Newhaven lifeboat crews were stood down at around 5.30am on Monday, but launched again at 7am at first light.

The Coastguard rescue helicopter 104 from Lee-on Solent also participated in Monday morning’s search. Mr King’s wife Stephanie said it was very unusual for her husband to go missing. She said: ‘I can’t understand what has happened. He is a very experienced yachtsman. He has all his equipment doubled up and is always careful. That is the way he runs things.’

A Sussex Police spokesman said: ‘Enquiries continue into the disappearance of yachtsman Leonard King on Sunday, November 9. “Detectives are investigating the circumstances leading up to his boat being found drifting at Brighton marina as part of this missing person enquiry. Officers are working with other agencies such as the coastguard and the RNLI and Mr King’s family is being supported.”

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