Two lifeboats called out to rescue ‘missing’ yacht, which had broken down near Lowestoft

The RNLI Lowestoft Lifeboat tows the seven metre yacht Artemis into Lowestoft. Picture: MICK HOWES

The RNLI Lowestoft Lifeboat tows the seven metre yacht Artemis into Lowestoft. Picture: MICK HOWES - Credit: Archant

The coastguard launched an investigation after a man on-board a broken down yacht called 999.

The caller said that the boat had left the Netherlands, but had got into difficulty at around 8.40pm last night (July 31).

Dave Hardy, from the UK Coastguard, said: 'Unfortunately the line dropped before the caller could give us any further information other than the length of his yacht.

'When he called again, he was able to tell us he was about 14 nautical miles off Lowestoft which is still a massive area to search. His engine and all the electronics had stopped working, he was under sail but there was no wind and he was just drifting.

'However, using all our skills and knowledge we were able to work out his likely position.'

The coastguard then sent two all-weather RNLI lifeboats, one from Gorleston and another from Lowestoft to search for the 'missing' yacht, which had lost all power and radio communications.

The seven metre yacht 'Artemis' was on passage from Den Helder in the Netherlands to Lowestoft when the vessel suffered a machinery problem and battery failure.

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With only a mobile phone to summon help the solo sailor on board was able to make contact with the Coastguard Maritime Rescue Centre but didn't know his exact location.

The two lifeboats began a coordinated search and eventually found the yacht, and towed it back to Lowestoft.

Lowestoft Lifeboat coxswain John Fox said: 'After a while we spotted a target on our radar about three miles from the Cross Sands buoy and on investigation found it was the missing yacht.

'There was very little wind and without power the yacht was stranded. We connected a line and towed the vessel 11-miles back to Lowestoft, arriving at 12.30am.'

Mr Hardy added: 'He (the caller) also told us they did not have any distress flares on board which would have attracted other vessels' attention to his location if used.

'This kind of incident is a reminder that whenever you are planning to go to sea, you should be prepared just in case things go wrong. Carry safety equipment and make sure you have a back up plan.

'If the worst does happen and should you require help, then call the Coastguard.'

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