UPDATE: Man, 78, taken to hospital with suspected hypothermia after being rescued in gale-force winds in yacht 28 miles off Cromer coastline

A 78-year-old man has been rescued 28 miles off Cromer after his yacht ran into difficulty in gale-force winds.

The Lester lifeboat with six crew on board was launched from Cromer at 8.47am this morning to the 22ft Cavina.

Humber Coastguard received the distress alert just after 8am and as well as lifeboat, the Sea King search and rescue helicopter from Wattisham Airfield and Humber all-weather lifeboats were scrambled.

A vessel in the area at the time also went to help and stood by the yacht until rescue units arrived. The man was winched on board the helicopter and taken to hospital to be checked over as he was showing signs of suffering from hypothermia.

When the sailor made the distress call he reported that his yacht was taking on water, the sails were in tatters and the engine had failed.

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The wind at the time was gusting up to 46mph, with a 3.5 metre swell.

The man, from Goole, was travelling from Ijmuiden, Holland towards the river Humber.

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Graham Dawson, watch manager at Humber Coastguard, said: 'Conditions out in the North Sea so far today have been pretty treacherous, with winds gusting more than 40mph and a large swell.

'However, this yacht was well-equipped with all the necessary communications equipment, so when he ran into trouble he could quickly raise the alarm.'

Once the man had been rescued from the yacht the lifeboats stood down, and due to the strong winds, the yacht is still adrift.

Do you know the sailor who got into difficulty? Email sophie.wyllie@archant.co.uk.

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