Arrest Over Disappearance

30 July 2012, 12:08 | Updated: 30 July 2012, 13:04

A man's been arrested over the disappearance of a Watford yachtsman who vanished in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

Sean Terry, 48, went missing while piloting his boat from the paradise islands of the Maldives to Madagascar during a round-the-world sailing trip.

The quantity surveyor, who took early retirement to sail solo around the world, was last heard from on 18 June 2012, according to his family.

A week later his 40ft yacht Finnegan was piloted into the island of Coetivy off the coast of the Seychelles by Stefan Pokorny, an Austrian scuba diving instructor who had joined Mr Terry on board, they said.

Mr Pokorny has been arrested in connection with the disappearance and is due to appear in court in the Seychelles later this week.

Judith Middleton, a spokeswoman for Mr Terry's family in South Africa, said Mr Pokorny had told police his sole crewmate had jumped off the boat in a fit of anger. But she told The Independent there were details in his story that did not "add up''.

"Pokorny came on board the yacht as an experienced and strong diver and the family wants to know why he did not do more to rescue Sean,'' she said.

"He told police that Sean got angry and jumped off the boat, but that does not add up. He told police it happened at night and in bad weather but other ships in the area said the weather was fine.

"The man-over-board button was not pressed and the satellite communication equipment was not used to radio for help. The family are desperate for answers.''

Ms Middleton said Mr Terry was looking forward to spending Christmas with his family and would not have contemplated suicide.

British-born Mr Terry grew up in South Africa but returned to the UK to work a quantity surveyor in Watford.