Two Hunstanton crew men airlifted from stricken boat in heavy seas off Norfolk

Two crew members were winched to safety after the Sealion ran aground in heavy seas last night.

A helicopter winched two crew to safety after a boat ran aground on a sand bank in The Wash.

The drama happened last night when pleasure boat the Sealion, owned by Searles Seatours, began dragging her moorings in a force 7 gale.

Two crew boarded the 35ft catamaran at around 8pm and tried to sail her to shelter at King's Lynn. But they made a distress call after her engine failed, she ran aground and began to take on water in rough seas.

Coastguards alerted Hunstanton lifeboat station, but it was too rough for either its lifeboat or hovercraft to launch.

A larger lifeboat was launched from Skegness, on the Lincolnshire side of The Wash, but was unable to reach the stricken vessel, which had grounded on a sand bank off Snettisham.

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Humber Coastguard scrambled a Sea King helicopter from RAF Wattisham, which arrived at 9.20pm.

It winched the two crew members to safety and flew them to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. A spokesman said the men were 'all well' on arrival.

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