Fears are growing for multi-millionaire yachtswoman Ona Unwin, who went missing while sailing off the Devon and Cornwall coast.
The 65-year-old set sail from the Cornish port of Mousehole on Saturday evening on a yacht she bought just two days earlier, it was claimed today.The last known movements of Ms Unwin emerged as rescue teams today found wreckage of a vessel near Sennen Cove in Cornwall.
Ms Unwin had bought the second-hand £32,000 yacht on Thursday, and not taken a refresher sailing course when she set off on her journey around the foot of Cornwall.
Devon and Cornwall Police said there was no evidence of a body on board the stricken vessel, believed to be Ms Unwin's 31ft yacht Seagair.
Local sailors warned Ms Unwin she would not be able to handle the journey alone but she is said to have ignored them and sailed off.
Ms Unwin, also known by her middle name of Mary, was the sole person on the boat when she left Mousehole in Cornwall on Saturday evening.
Search helicopters and lifeboats scoured her 120-mile planned route to find the 30ft missing ship, and found wreckage this afternoon.
Coastguards are said to have found wreckage off Sennen Cover near Land's End - just 25 miles from Mousehole where Ms Unwin sailed from.
Ms Unwin was last seen by marina workers who slipped her boat's moorings on Saturday at 6.30pm.
Steve Huxley, search and rescue manager at Falmouth Coastguard, said she "hadn't been sailing for a few years".
He said: "The woman departed Mousehole on Saturday evening on board her newly-purchased vessel.
"We understand that she was heading for Bideford. We have been unable to find her and are very concerned for her safety.
"There's possibly a radio onboard that doesn't work. We know there is no beacon registered to that boat. We don't know if she has a life raft onboard.
"We've put out a broadcast to shipping, we've got an air search and rescue operation, and we've got our teams out trying to gather intelligence.
"We are treating this very urgently. We are expecting the weather to deteriorate."
An air search by rescue helicopters from RNAS Culdrose and RAF Chivenor also joined the search at first light.
Coastguard rescue officers from north Cornwall and north Devon were conducting a shoreline search.
Jerry Hobkirk, from Falmouth Yacht Brokers, sold Ms Unwin the yacht on Thursday last week.
He said: "The weather was treacherous this weekend, even for some of the more experienced sailors.
"I was amazed when I found out that she had set sail. If I had known, we would have stopped her.
"There were strong winds and rough seas on a piece of coast that has very few escape routes.
"If you get into difficulties there aren't very many ports to play your 'get out of jail' card with."
Missing Ms Unwin remarried her millionaire husband Carol, 61, just ten days before he bought her the boat, it emerged on Monday.
Mr and Mrs Unwin lived in a one-storey gated property called Coastal Hideaway in a leafy part of Bideford.
Neighbours also say police had recently been seen at the house several times.
Neighbour Graham Ash, 74, said she had re-married her husband ten days ago.
Another neighbour said it was the second time the couple had been married.
A coastguard spokesman said there was a "high possibility" that further pieces of debris found in the Sennen Cove area, near Lands End, were from the missing yacht.
He said: "Lifeboats have found quite a lot there. The pieces can't positively be identified as coming from our overdue yacht but it's quite a high possibility at the moment."