Jessica Watson – the Australian who became the youngest solo sailor to circumnavigate the globe – has announced the sudden death of her longtime partner, Cameron Dale.

The 28-year-old sailor expressed her “indescribable grief” in an Instagram post, writing: “On Monday, 30 August 2021 we lost our Cam – my long-term partner in every aspect of life and planned future.

“Cam passed away peacefully nearly six weeks after a catastrophic stroke. We’ll be forever grateful for the dedicated care he received at the Gold Coast University Hospital.”

She added, “Cam and I have been inseparable since 2011, our shared world centred on messing about on boats. Describing what Cam means to me is impossible – everyone who knows us understands how much we simply loved each other.

“Even while experiencing indescribable grief, I feel so grateful for the family, friends, and communities Cam has given me and the person I’ve become with him. I take enormous strength from having been so devotedly loved. The years of treasured memories offer enormous comfort.

“Being Cam’s ‘Jess’ is the role I’m most proud of. Cameron Dale 21.12.1991 – 30.08.2021.”

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The couple reportedly started dating in 2011 but didn’t make it ‘public’ until August 2012.

On October 18th 2009, 16-year-old Jessica Watson departed Sydney in an attempt to solo circumnavigate the world. She returned seven months later on May 15, the following year, becoming the youngest person to sail solo and unassisted around the world.

Following her voyage, she was named the 2011 Young Australian of the Year, before being awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2012.

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