A fugitive British couple have been found dead aboard a vessel stolen from Portugal, which was spotted adrift in the Atlantic, close to the West African coast.

British police wished to speak to Sharon Arthurs-Chegini and Peter Clarke in connection with the theft of a yacht, which disappeared from Falmouth harbour in 2005.

An inquest has been launched in an attempt to discover the circumstances surrounding their deaths, but according to the family of Peter Clarke, proceedings are suffering as a result of inadequate investigation.

Astrid Coates, inquest solicitor at Farleys Solicitors LLP, representing Mr Clarke’s family, said, “The family of Peter Clarke were devastated to learn of his death.”

“As a family they felt extremely let down by both the Senegalese and the British investigations into what lead to his death.”

“As a consequence any opportunity that existed to find out what happened has been lost as a result of the inadequate investigations.”

Police in West Africa initially believed the couple had been killed by pirates, but examination of the couple’s bodies found no serious injuries to support the theory and the cause of death was recorded as unascertained.

It has since been suggested that Ms Arthurs-Chegini, 46, from Falmouth, and Mr Clarke, 49, had been adrift in the ocean for some time without food or water, as the bodies were found to be severely emaciated upon post mortem examination.

However, the exact facts surrounding their deaths remain a mystery.

If you or require the services of an experienced inquest solicitor, don’t hesitate to contact the lawyers at Farleys on 0845 287 0939. Alternatively, e-mail us.