Wednesday, December 05, 2007

"Missing canoeist" arrested

A man who reappeared five years after it was thought he drowned at sea while canoeing has been arrested. John Darwin was presumed dead after the remains of his canoe were found washed up on a beach in Seaton Carew, near Hartlepool, Teesside, in March 2002.

The 57-year-old walked into a London police station at the weekend, saying he did not remember where he had been. Cleveland Police said a man had been arrested by Hampshire officers at their request but made no further comment.

Mr Darwin had been reunited with his sons, Anthony and Mark, who said he could not remember anything since June 2000. His wife, Anne, is believed to be living abroad after recently selling the couple's home.

In the statement issued earlier through Cleveland Police, Anthony, 29, and Mark, 31, said that the news of their father's appearance had come as a huge shock to the whole family, but they were extremely happy.

They said he appeared to be in good health and that his wife had been informed and was delighted at the news. They added: "Since Saturday evening we have been through a traumatic and emotional time and this continues to be a stressful time for John and the family."

Anyone who has seen or had dealings with Mr Darwin over the past five years is asked to contact Cleveland Police.

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