Lifeboat crews have this evening successfully rescued a stricken motorboat which ran into problems off the Suffolk coast.

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LIFEBOAT crews are tonight toasting success after rescuing a stricken motorboat which was sinking off the Suffolk coast.

The all-weather and inshore lifeboats from the Aldeburgh RNLI station were called in at 3.45pm to a 32ft motorboat cruiser which started rapidly taking on water off Sizewell.

It is understood one of the bilge pumps on the vessel had stopped working and the cruiser started to take on water.

There were two crew members on board the yacht at the time.

They managed to moor against the former water outlet tower for Sizewell A power station while they waited for help.

Lifeboat crews worked to pump water out of the boat to stabilise it, and, despite difficult conditions, managed to tow the yacht to Southwold Harbour.

Once safely at Southwold, the craft was lifted out of the water by a yacht hoist.

Lifeboat coxswain Steven Saint said: “It had taken a lot of water. We stabilised it at Sizewell and we knew if we were to have any hope (of preventing it sinking) we had to get it into Southwold.

“We towed her very gingerly up to Southwold and a local boat yard very kindly came out to us and took it straight out of the water. There were about three or four holes in the hull.”

He said the vessel had only recently been acquired by the current owner and had just come from the Norfolk Broads.

Describing the drama as it unfolded, Allan Warner, an electrician and former lifeboat crew member who lives at Sizewell, said: “The boat was in trouble. They had moored themselves against the old water outlet tower for Sizewell A,” he said.

“You could see the yacht was taking on a lot of water and you could see the lifeboat crew pumping the water out.’’

The Aldeburgh all-weather lifeboat towed the vessel in to Southwold.

Anybody wanting to support the Aldeburgh RNLI can send donations to them at: Aldeburgh Lifeboat Station, Crag Path, Aldeburgh, IP15 5BP.

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