The Norwegian wife of John Edward Garner, the British sailor who died at sea in St. Vincent last week Wednesday, is not a person of interest in the police investigation into what caused his yacht, “ASANTE” to burn and sink off Buccament Bay.
Police further said in a release on Monday that a post mortem concluded that Garner’s death resulted from “multiple-trauma in keeping with blast injuries”.
Police had said last week that foul play was suspected in Garner’s death and that they wanted to question his wife, Heidi Hukkelaas.
But they announced in a press release on Monday that their investigation shows that Hukkelaas left St. Vincent on Tuesday via the J.F. Mitchell Airport on Bequia.
An airline manifest obtained by I-Witness News on Friday show Hukkelaas left Bequia for Barbados on board SVG Air flight 609 on Tuesday, supporting what Bequia-based sailor, “African” Simmons, told I-Witness News on Thursday.
“It is believed that Garner was the lone individual on the catamaran,” the police release further said, echoing Garner’s report to I-Witness News.
“The Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force has been in contact with the British High Commission and Garner’s relatives,” police further said, adding that investigations are ongoing.
Police said that they received reports approximately 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday that a yacht was seen on fire and there was a loud explosion at sea off Buccament Bay in southwestern St. Vincent.
“The Coastguard Service responded immediately to the report, and Garner’s body was discovered with injuries to both of his legs as well as to his head. Prior to the coastguard’s arrival, personnel of Indigo Dive, St. Vincent, had responded to the incident and had found the body of the deceased floating in the water,” the release said, adding that Garner was taken to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The police report on Monday also said a postmortem found that Garner had a ruptured heart, aorta, stomach, head, and ribs.
Debris and an oil spill were found at the scene of the incident where Garner’s catamaran, “ASANTE”, sunk, officers of the Coastguard Service disclosed, the police report further said.
The catamaran is registered in Gibraltar.
Garner, who was born on Oct. 6, 1950, and Hukkelaas arrived by airplane in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Jan. 19, 2014 and was permitted to remain in the country until April 19, 2014.