Australian round-the-world sailor Jessica Watson has announced the tragic death of partner Cameron Dale at the age of 29.
Watson became a household name in Australia when she became the youngest solo sailor to circumnavigate the globe in 2010.
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The 28-year-old revealed her grief on Wednesday night after Dale, who she started dating in 2011, died on Monday after suffering a “catastrophic stroke” six weeks ago.
“On Monday, 30 August 2021 we lost our Cam – my long-term partner in every aspect of life and planned future,” she wrote on Instagram.
“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.
“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’."
Aussies shocked by Jessica Watson's devastating news
Watson and Dale began dating in 2011 after connecting over their mutual interests in sailing and boats.
"It’s a nice thing for us to share and to have in common," she told Mamamia in 2019.
In 2010, Watson became the youngest person to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around the world, spending 210 days at sea.
She arrived home in Sydney just three days before turning 17 and held the record until 2012.
Watson was later named Young Australian of the Year in 2011 and awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2012.
Last year it was announced that her historic feat would be made into a Netflix biopic, based on her best-selling book 'True Spirit'.
"It’s quite humbling to have Netflix bring my story to life," she said.
"I hope that the film inspires people around the world to try sailing and to also pursue their own adventures."
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