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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Two yachtsmen rescued in storm off coast

TWO yachtsmen were rescued in a storm off the coast of Whitehaven on Tuesday.

The men, aboard the Never Satisfied, raised an emergency signal for help around 4pm after their yacht suffered engine failure 11 miles out to sea in force nine winds and 4m-high waves.

A major operation was co-ordinated by Liverpool Coastguard and lifeboats from Workington and Barrow were quickly dispatched, along with a helicopter, to rescue the stricken 41ft yacht.

The Never Satisfied was towed into Whitehaven Harbour, which had been its original destination, just after 9pm. The yacht was met by Whitehaven Coastguard team, and the men were taken in a waiting ambulance to the West Cumberland Hospital for a check-up. The yachtsmen were said to be suffering from hypothermia and extreme sea-sickness.

John Stobbart, a coxswain with Workington RNLI, described a “challenging and difficult” rescue. He said: “When we got there, the yacht’s engine had become disabled and it was drifting violently. The conditions were awful; there was high winds, driving sleet and snow – not very pleasant at all.

“We managed to put one crew member on the yacht to assist the men while we established a tow to get it to safety.

“The tow snapped twice while we were pulling it into Whitehaven, but we eventually got back into the marina after 9.15pm.

“It was a tough evening but it ended well and I am sure the men will both make a full recovery.”

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