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Woman and two dogs missing after yacht and dredger crash off Suffolk/Essex coast

19:01 08 June 2014

Westland Sea King

Westland Sea King

A sea search has been launched for a woman reported missing from a yacht which collided with a dredger along the Essex and Suffolk coastline.

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Search and Rescue operation off the coast of Felixstowe.Search and Rescue operation off the coast of Felixstowe.

The crash took place around one mile off the coast of Felixstowe shortly before 1.30pm.

A man on board the yacht was pulled to safety and taken to hospital to be checked over, but a woman and two dogs are still missing.

The yacht sank within five minutes. The Thames Coastguard has scrambled a team to the scene.

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesman said: “Thames Coastguard is this afternoon coordinating a search after a yacht was in collision with a dredger approximately one mile off Felixstowe.

“The man who was rescued from the water has now been taken to hospital to be checked over. The other person on board the yacht – a woman – is still unaccounted for. A large-scale search is still ongoing at this time.

“We can confirm that yacht sank soon after the collision.”

The Felixstowe Coastguard Rescue Team, three lifeboats – two from Harwich, one from Walton – two pilot boats, a dive boat, the search and rescue helicopter from RAF Wattisham along with a number of other vessels in the area are currently involved in the search.

Thames Coastguard announced at 4pm that was widening out the search to take in to account the currents and wind conditions.

The missing woman is believed to have been wearing a lifejacket when she went missing, as were the two dogs.

They have been in the water for a number of hours, with the search entering a critical phase.

Although there are a number of variables such as what she was wearing, the odds of survival decrease significantly after an hour in the water.

A lower body temperature also makes it harder for the rescue helicopter’s infra-red camera to pick up a thermal image.

Markers are being put down around the crash site to aid divers, who are due to search the area at 6pm at slack water to see if they can find any leads for the search.

It is understood the rescued man was recovered by the dredger crew.

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