Bridgwater family of lost sailor asks to grieve in peace

Kay Coombes with a photo of her brother Steve Warren (right) and his friend Paul Goslin, both lost in the Atlantic

Kay Coombes with a photo of her brother Steve Warren (right) and his friend Paul Goslin, both lost in the Atlantic

First published in News This is The West Country: Photograph of the Author by

THE Bridgwater family of a yachtsman lost in the Atlantic have asked for space to grieve as they come to terms with their latest personal tragedy.

Steve Warren, 52, who was born and brought up in the town, is among four sailors whose upturned boat was discovered about 1,000 miles east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on Friday.

Steve, who attended Sydenham Comprehensive School, Paul Goslin, 56, from West Camel, James Male, 23, from Southampton, and Andrew Bridge, 21, from Surrey, got into trouble heading back to the UK from a regatta in Antigua the previous week.

They reported their yacht, the Cheeki Rafiki, taking on water before communication was lost, sparking a major US Coast Guard search, which was called off after two days.

A fresh search was started last week following pressure from the four men’s families, including Steve’s sister, Kay Coombes, of Bridgwater.

The upturned hull of the Cheeki Rafiki was discovered with the liferaft still on board and no sign of the yachstmen.

Kay told a national newspaper that it felt as if “ours must be the most unlucky family in the world”.

Her father, Peter, died at 49 from a brain aneurism, while her brother, Paul, 44, died in his sleep after a blood clot travelled to his heart.

Then two years ago Kay, a civil servant and divorced mother of one, was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Our poor mother Margaret is in a terrible state,” Kay told the Daily Mail. “In the space of six years she’s had to cope with the prospect of losing all three of her children.”

Kay said that Paul’s death and her battle with cancer encouraged Steve to “live for the moment” and join the crew of the Cheeki Rafiki.

“Paul’s death was a wake-up call and completely changed the way Steve looked at life,” she added.

“He was determined to live life for the moment and grasp every opportunity.”

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