Yachtsman airlifted to safety by helicopter after running aground at sea

Wells Lifeboat crews two the yacht back into Wells Harbour. Picture: Ray West

Wells Lifeboat crews two the yacht back into Wells Harbour. Picture: Ray West - Credit: Archant

A sailor was airlifted from his yacht by rescue helicopter after running aground close to a wreck site.

Wells and Hunstanton lifeboat crews were called out at 9pm on Thursday to rescue a lone yachtsman who was in difficulty on Scolt Head, close to the Brancaster wreck SS Vina. He was taken from the boat by the air-sea helicopter.

Wells Lifeboat were asked to refloat the yacht on the next tide on Friday morning. A crew was sent out at 9.15am to check the boat after reports it had moved.

They returned to the yacht during the afternoon tide to tow it back to Wells Harbour where it was moored on the pontoon.

A Wells Lifeboat spokesman said: "The skipper of the yacht, keen to be reunited with his boat, spent the night getting some rest at the Wells boathouse.

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"Then at first light, it was found that the yacht had moved half a mile to the east on the morning high tide but was still firmly aground. The priority then was to make sure that the boat had not been damaged during the grounding and to anchor her so she could be re-floated on the afternoon tide.

"The plan for the afternoon high tide was to launch both the inshore and the all-weather lifeboats on the incoming tide and attach a tow line, re-float and tow the yacht to the safety of Wells Harbour."

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Both lifeboats returned to base by 6.20pm.

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