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Essex: Yachts suffer rigging failure and struggle in adverse weather conditions off Walton as rescue helicopter is called

07:15 29 July 2014

Lifeboat crew help stricken yacht

Lifeboat crew help stricken yacht

Archant © 2009

Lifeboat teams were busy yesterday evening as they were called to stricken vessels off the north Essex coast.

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At 6.15pm two people aboard the yacht Burlesque sent a Mayday broadcast after suffering rigging failure and losing the rudder eight miles off Walton.

The Walton lifeboat was tasked to the scene with fisheries protection vessel, Endeavour, from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) also called.

Endeavour provided protection from the weather until the lifeboat arrived. The rescue team then towed the vessel to Shotley.

It was met there by the Holbrook Coastguard Team who assisted and ensured the crew were safe and well.

A few minutes late at around 6.35pm, two people aboard the yacht Sheerjoy requested assistance in difficult weather conditions, also eight miles off Walton.

The Harwich lifeboat, Belgian rescue helicopter R05 from Koksijde and the CEFAS’ Endeavour were sent. The protection vessel got to the scene first and protected the yacht from the weather.

A winchman from the helicopter was lowered to the yacht and assessed the crew before the lifeboat took the vessel in tow to Shotley. They were met there by the Holbrook Coastguard Team.

Just before 8pm Thames Coastguard tasked the Walton Coastguard Team and Clacton lifeboat to investigate a small vessel reported in difficulty off Frinton.

The Coastguard team located the vessel and kept it under observation. The lifeboat team confirmed the one person aboard was “happy” and “well-equipped” in the conditions.

The incident was considered to be a false alert and units were stood down.

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