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Elderly couple sailing to France are rescued one mile off Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 11:01 04 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:56 05 August 2019

Lowestoft RNLI Lifebooat tows in a yacht with engine failure. Photo: Mick Howes

Lowestoft RNLI Lifebooat tows in a yacht with engine failure. Photo: Mick Howes

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An RNLI lifeboat was dispatched after an elderly couple intending to sail to France were stranded under a mile from the Suffolk coast.

Lowestoft RNLI Lifebooat tows in a yacht with engine failure. Photo: Mick HowesLowestoft RNLI Lifebooat tows in a yacht with engine failure. Photo: Mick Howes

The couple had to call for help when the vessel encountered an engine problem three-quarters of a mile from Lowestoft, where the couple had set sail on Saturday morning.

Lowestoft RNLI Coxswain John Fox said: "We were called at 9.39am (3 August 2019) to give assistance to a yacht that had suffered engine failure.

"Our volunteer crew soon launched our RNLI lifeboat 'Patsy Knight' and we located the 30ft vessel about three quarters of a mile off the coast at Covehithe."

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The couple from Beccles said they were intending to sail down to Dover and then over to Calais when their fan belt broke and then water got into their fuel.

Mr. Fox said: "With their engine out of action and with little wind the vessel was becalmed so the pair were forced to call for help."

The sailor was hard of hearing and with his wife feeling sick, the RNLI transferred a lifeboat crewman onto the yacht to help them with communications.

The RNLI connected a towline to the vessel and after a slow journey, waiting for the powerboat races to finish, they were brought safely into the yacht basin at noon.

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