The American cameraman vanished during an overnight fishing expedition off California's San Pedro coastline between 30 June and 1 July (05). Although the boat and all its crew returned to land, all that remained of McDermott was his personal possessions, including a fishing rod.
Family and friends of McDermott grew concerned on 6 July (05) when he failed to attend a party and contacted the coast guard five days later when his car was found in the car park of the San Pedro marina.
Coast Guard investigator DENNIS NEBRICH says, "We haven't really determined what happened to Mr McDermott and so we can't really say that he disappeared from that vessel.
"Is there any suggestion that he might have run away as opposed to have gone overboard? That's something we're still looking at. We're hoping he will eventually show up."
Despite speculation he may have faked his own death, friends of the couple are convinced his disappearance is an accident.
Despite their low-key relationship over the past nine years (begs97), McDermott expressed his love for Newton-John on Australian TV last year (04), declaring "I love you with all my heart."
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