Testimony: Couple starved on stolen yacht

July 23, 2009 at 10:59 PM

TRURO, England, July 23 (UPI) -- An English couple found dead on a stolen yacht off the African coast probably died of starvation and dehydration, witnesses at an inquest said Thursday.

In 2006, fishermen found the drifting yacht, which had been stolen in Portugal, off the coast of Senegal. The bodies of Sharon Arthurs-Chegini, 46, of Falmouth and Peter Clarke, 49, of Penryn were onboard.

The couple, both from Cornwall, were wanted for stealing a yacht in Falmouth in 2005.

At the inquest in Truro, evidence was presented that there was no food or water on the yacht and the bodies were emaciated, The Independent reported. Arthurs-Chegini wrote in a June 2006 diary entry that she was running out of water and her companion would not get up.

While police in West Africa at first believed the couple had been attacked by pirates, autopsies found no signs of violent death.

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