‘At last my nightmare has ended’ says Sheffield widow, as death certificate finally issued

Jacqui Hoyland from Penistone, South Yorkshire, whose husband Jeremy went missing whilst jet-skiing in Bali in 2008.
Jacqui Hoyland from Penistone, South Yorkshire, whose husband Jeremy went missing whilst jet-skiing in Bali in 2008.

THE wife of a jet skier who vanished at sea is finally hoping for closure after she was issued with a death certificate following a ‘nightmare’ four years.

Internationally-renowned jet skier Jeremy Hoyland, of Penistone, disappeared off the coast of Bali in October 2008, when he was checking out a course racers were due to complete as part of the Asian Beach Games.

The 41-year-old was bringing up the rear of a group of jet skiers and managed to make an SOS call on his mobile phone to a friend to say he was taking on water - but he then vanished without a trace.

His remains and jet ski have never been found and it has taken his heartbroken wife Jacqui, 47, nearly four years to be finally issued with a death certificate from the Balinese authorities.

It still needs to be ratified by the British Government, but Jacqui said she hoped to be able to finally sort out her financial affairs now.

She has been unable to cancel or change any insurance policies or shop around for a better mortgage deal because they were taken out in joint name.

And without a death certificate to explain Jeremy’s absence, Jacqui has had to continue meeting all the financial obligations they had as a couple.

The mum-of-two has spent the past four years calling for a change in the law, which currently says a person has to be missing for seven years before they can be presumed dead.

She has raised the issue in Parliament.

Jacqui said she feels ‘relief’ now that the end is in sight.

Jacqui said: “I feel like a huge weight has finally been lifted.”

“She said her family had been left ‘in limbo’ waiting for the Balinese authorities to issue the certificate.

“I also feel Jeremy has been left in limbo too, as if he did not exist,” she said.

“We never got him back, they never found Jeremy, so we could never bring him home - that would have helped us, but at least this is a step in the right direction in terms of us starting to get some closure to this awful situation we have found ourselves in.”

She said the fight to establish what happened to her husband and to get the authorities to recognise his death had taken its toll.

Jacqui said: “It has been one long exhausting battle - I feel like I have no fight left in me now.

“Jeremy’s case was different to somebody just going missing - he made an SOS call on his phone, so the GPS signal pinpointed exactly where he was when he got into difficulty.

“If a boat had got into trouble and issued a ‘mayday’ and the crew all jumped into the sea, there would be a search and after a few days if their bodies weren’t found they would be presumed dead.

“Because Jeremy was labelled as ’missing’ it has taken me years of gathering evidence and meetings and having doors closed in my face to finally get to this point.”