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12 August 2007

A WIDOW faces financial ruin as she can’t prove her sailor husband is dead – more than a year after he went overboard.

Merchant seaman Richard Yates, 49, died while working on a Shell gas tanker on a voyage from France to Africa.

But police in Bermuda – where the vessel was based – have not explained how he died or sent Beth, 49, of Stirlingshire, a death certificate.

She cannot claim his pension or get her mortgage paid off without it.

She said: “I am being denied the circumstances surrounding my husband’s death. Now I face the daily worry of finding money for the house, loan and car.

“I have begged the police in Bermuda to send me his certificate and let me know how Richard died but they have so far refused.”

Shipmates only realised Richard had vanished when they found his empty coffee cup and newspaper on a table.

A Shell spokeswoman said: “A death certificate can only be released once the coroner has a report from the Bermuda Government. We’ve given the information for such a report.”

Last night a spokesman for the Bermuda Government said: “We hope to get it resolved as soon as possible for the family.” and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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