Rescue chopper helps save stricken man
VIDEO A major rescue operation was launched off the coast of Essex after a yacht was found to be floating unmanned.
A MAJOR rescue operation was launched off the coast of Essex after a yacht was found to be floating unmanned.
Helicopters were scrambled to the yacht, found off the Red Sands Towers, near to Southend in the Thames Estuary, along with RNLI lifeboats and four police vessels at around 11am yesterday.
But an hour later it was called off after a man was spotted floating in a dinghy by a rescue helicopter from RAF Wattisham.
The sole crew member of the yacht, he was found to be cold but otherwise uninjured and was later reunited with his vessel, Serendipity, which was towed back to land by a lifeboat.
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He had set out from the Pyefleet Channel near Colchester at 6am yesterday, bound for the river Medway in Kent when disaster struck.
Steve Labouchardiere, a watch officer from Thames Coastguard said: “The gentleman was attempting to re-secure the dinghy to his yacht when a line broke, leaving the man left behind in his dinghy and the yacht travelling away from him with all communications equipment on board.
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“The man was located extremely quickly by the rescue helicopter. By then he had been adrift in his dinghy for two hours, but although extremely cold he was found to be otherwise safe and well.”