Two people were rescued by Hunstanton lifeboat this afternoon after their yacht was caught in a gale.

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Hunstanton lifeboat station was called by Yarmouth coastguard at 3.12pm to a report a yacht had run aground at Brancaster Staithe with two people onboard.

The boat was caught in a north easterly gale and the crew launched the Hunstanton lifeboat, the Spirit of West Norfolk, at 3.24pm.

When they arrived they found the yacht was washed up onto the beach, but the volunteer crew could not get alongside it as the water was too shallow.

The crew on the yacht managed to get onto the beach and were treated by coastguards, who took them back to where they were staying in Brancaster Staithe.

The lifeboat returned to Hunstanton shortly after 4pm.

Wells lifeboat was also launched to help fishing boats return safely in one of the worst gales of the year.

Coxswain, Allen Frary, and operations manager, Chris Hardy, launched the lifeboat as a precaution when the weather deteriorated.

They said conditions were treacherous for boats, including 15 fishing boats and craft returning from wind farms, crossing Wells Bar.

Mr Hardy said: “The seas were extremely rough over the bar with breaking waves over six feet high.

“If anything had gone wrong or someone went overboard, the lifeboat being out there would greatly increase their chances of survival.”

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