Coastguard say yachtsman who sailed from Wisbech and went aground was ill prepared
A MAJOR sea and land search involving three lifeboats and the Coastguard was launched last night after a yachtsman who had sailed from Wisbech went to sea without charts, compass or a radio.Lifeboats from Hunstanton and Skegness joined the operation afte
A MAJOR sea and land search involving three lifeboats and the Coastguard was launched last night after a yachtsman who had sailed from Wisbech went to sea without charts, compass or a radio.
Lifeboats from Hunstanton and Skegness joined the operation after the 29ft yacht, which had sailed from Wisbech, failed to arrive at Snettisham. The alarm was raised in a call to the Coastguard, at 9.10pm.
The vessel, which had a man and two children aged 12 and 14 on board, was eventually found on a mud bank off Snettisham Beach.
The boat had earlier run aground shortly after leaving the River Nene. By the time it got off and began crossing The Wash, it was dusk.
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"The light failed and he didn't have a clue where he was, no radio and no compass" said Hunstanton Lifeboat spokesman Geoff Needham. "All we knew was he was in The Wash, it's like looking for a needle in a haystack. Eventually the Coastguard picked him up in their search light."
A boy and girl were taken off the yacht by the lifeboat but the man remained on board the vessel.
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"He called the Coastguard this morning wanting a tow but we're not a breakdown service," said Mr Needham. "He's beached his boat on a bank and the engine's blown a gasket."
The yachtsman was believed to have been trying to sail to Snettisham. Mr Needham said it was the fourth time the lifeboats had been called out to rescue people who had gone to sea without proper equipment in as many weeks.
• Do you know who the yachtsman was? Are you the yachtsman? Call our John Elworthy, Editor, on 01354 652621 with details.