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Scots tourist swept out to sea off holiday isle Madeira

Derek Jessiman
Derek Jessiman

RESCUERS searching for a missing Scot swept out to sea on the holiday island of Madeira yesterday failed to find any trace of him.

Police continued a land search which first began just before 11pm on Wednesday night after retired Volvo executive Derek Jessiman disappeared on the Praia Formosa beach just outside the island capital Funchal.

A small boat was also mobilised for a search near the shoreline.

Funchal Port commander Paulo Silva Ribeiro, who is coordinating the operation, admitted he was pessimistic about any positive results.

He said: “The winds when he was swept into the sea were very strong and the sea temperature was only about 17 degrees Celsius.

“It’s almost impossible he would have survived but we can’t say it’s impossible to find him alive until we have the proof.

“There is a chance, though, we may never find his body.”

Aberdeen-born dad-of-three Mr Jessiman had been in Madeira with his partner, who works on the island.

Algarve-based expat Derek, educated at Falkirk College, spent time working in Sweden for Volvo after graduating as an industrial chemical engineer before moving to Belgium in 2007 to become MD at Volvo Cars Gent.

Mr Ribeiro added: “He probably didn’t realise what the ocean conditions were and we believe a wave came and dragged him into the sea.”