Father of missing New Malden boat man Hany Nabil Mustapha "accepts inevitable"
A father says he accepts that his son has died after the search for his boat was called off.
Hany Nabil Mustapha, 46, who grew up in New Malden, went missing on Saturday, a day after his birthday, when his sailing boat was found empty with its engine still running just off the coast of the Isle of Wight.
A search operation for the ex-Tiffin school pupil, who was living in Worcester Park, included helicopters, lifeboats and broadcasts to other vessels was called off after 22 hours.
His father Mr Nabil Mustapha, 81, said: "The search people have done everything they could have done.
"They had no more clues. I think it would be very impractical to think [that he was alive] now unfortunately.
"Even his mum – my wife was clutching at straws until yesterday. We accept that this was the inevitable.
"His mum is devastated. I can’t describe it. He was my only son. I just can’t describe how I feel."
The night before Mr Mustapha, who ran an IT company, went missing he celebrated his 46th birthday with his wife Liz and family at the Emperor, a Chinese restaurant in Stonecottt Hill, North Cheam.
He then took the last train to Poole where, as a member of Thames Motor Yacht Club at Hampton Court, he intended to go sailing over the weekend
Mr Mustapha said: "This was the first time he went on a sailing boat on his own. But he knew quite a bit about navigation and boats. He had experience going with other people.
"The night before the whole family gathered for his birthday. It was an opportunity for all of us to be together. The whole family is very close."
His 19-year-old teenage daughter Nadia had also come down from Aberystwyth University for the special occasion.
Mr Mustapha said: "It is extremely hard for his daughter. They were very close. She would have been devastated if she had not come down."
"He was a successful man – self made. He was happy in every way. He was outgoing. He played golf, cricket, cycled to work and was a member at Thames Motor Yacht Club.
"He was loved by a lot of people. He was a Kingston and New Malden man through and through."