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Family’s 40-year anguish at disappearance of brother from Felixstowe ferry

PUBLISHED: 16:08 21 September 2020 | UPDATED: 18:00 21 September 2020

Kevin Dundon from Clacton went missing off a ferry bound for Felixstowe 40 years ago and his family are still searching for answers today. Picture: DUNDON FAMILY

Kevin Dundon from Clacton went missing off a ferry bound for Felixstowe 40 years ago and his family are still searching for answers today. Picture: DUNDON FAMILY

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The brothers of a 22-year-old who went missing on a ferry off the Suffolk coast four decades ago have revealed how the grief of his disappearance tore their family apart.

Kevin Dundon went missing in September 1980. Picture: DUNDON FAMILYKevin Dundon went missing in September 1980. Picture: DUNDON FAMILY

Relatives still don’t know the fate of Kevin Dundon, from Clacton, after he was last seen on the Viking Viscount ferry returning to Felixstowe from Belgium on Sunday, September 21, in 1980.

He had been working on the boat for three days before he went missing when the ferry was approximately 26 miles off the Suffolk coast, on its way back from a five-hour round trip to Zeebrugge.

According to witness testimony from his colleagues, Kevin left the galley at around 6.30pm through a door which could have led to either the toilets or the deck.

A search began 7.30pm, scaled up to a ‘man overboard’ search by emergency services at 10.45pm once the ferry had docked in Felixstowe.

His brothers Jimmy, Tom and Danny, have never given up their search for answers and continue to work with the police to investigate what happened.

Their parents and sister all died without ever knowing how events unfolded – their sister Jennifer passed away from cancer in 1995, their mother in 2001 and their father in 2007.

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Jimmy, Kevin’s eldest brother, said it was hard to put into words how it felt to have dealt with the grief for so long.

The 65-year-old said: “It’s something you just have to deal with in the end. You don’t want to believe it but you can’t escape it.”

Fellow brother Tom said: “It’s been so raw for us the entire time – seeing our family being torn apart with grief was virtually unbearable.

“To find out what happened that day would be relief.

“The police have done an astounding amount of work and it picked up a lot in the last few years as they’ve interviewed more people they couldn’t get a hold of back then and done DNA testing.

“Someone out there knows what happens, they hold the key.”

Youngest brother, Danny, said the pain has lessened slightly over the years - but it still hurts when he thinks about it and key dates, such as the anniversary, bring back the emotions.

The brothers believe the disappearance was no accident and Andy Guy, the unsolved case manager for Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies, confirmed it was highly unlikely Kevin was on the ship when it docked at Felixstowe at 8.45pm.


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