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Australian Yachtswoman is missing at Sea



Carmel Brookes, who was at the helm of a Phuket-bound sailboat when she mysteriously disappeared last Thursday


CHIANGRAI TIMES – An Australian yachtswoman is missing after reportedly falling overboard while sailing from Malaysia to the Thai resort island of Phuket.

How Carmel Brookes, 60, came to fall overboard in apparently calm seas is unclear.

Ms Brookes was on a yacht called Moondancer with her partner, Gerry Goeden, when she vanished at night off the coast of Trang in Thailand.

The Koh Rok island group (outlined in red) lies about half way between Langkawi Island and Phuket. It is part of the Koh Lanta Marine National Park in Krabi waters

Dr Goeden, a marine biologist, searched the area for almost a week before sailing to the Thai resort island of Krabi yesterday.

The couple, who were living in Penang, Malaysia, were on what friends said was their ”dream trip”.

Ms Brookes’ body has not been recovered.

Ms Brookes, formerly of Brisbane, worked for many years in the Department of Foreign Affairs, with postings that included Jakarta and Hong Kong.

One of her friends, Michelle Black, from Toowoomba, said: ”We cannot understand it, as Gerry is a very experienced yachtsman.

”Carmel was a wonderful person who had retired to Penang … she had been excited about making the trip to Phuket. She was living her dream.”

Ms Brookes and Dr Goeden had part-owned a sailing business in the Whitsunday Islands before selling up and moving to Penang.

Dr Goeden, an Australian citizen formerly from the United States, activated a person-overboard beacon on the night of February 2, which was then noticed by yachting friends in Australia.

The Thai navy has called off a search for Ms Brookes’ body.

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