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Dramatic SOS mobile call

PUBLISHED: 17:27 10 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:59 30 June 2010

A NORFOLK businessman has spoken of the dramatic moment he received a panic stricken mobile phone call from his brothers asking for help because they feared their boat was about to sink off the coast of Spain.

A NORFOLK businessman has spoken of the dramatic moment he received a panic stricken mobile phone call from his brothers asking for help because they feared their boat was about to sink off the coast of Spain.

Martin Scott, 52, of New Road, Belton was watching the TV news at 10pm last night when his brother David, 56, rang his home phone on a crackling line to say his boat was in severe risk of sinking in 5m high seas two miles off the coast of Spain.

David and Martin's other brother Brian, 60, had become caught in a severe and unexpected storm which whipped up high winds and rough seas that destroyed the radio communications equipment on board their 53ft motor cruiser Arbulolo.

Unable to radio the Spanish coastguard for help, the increasingly desperate pair resorted to calling their Belton-based sibling by mobile to ask if he could call the coastguard for them.

Martin, who runs offshore firm Geotech Consultants from his home, said: “My brother was advising me that they had an emergency situation. He said, 'listen carefully, we have got problems' then went on to explain the situation further that they were actually having problems with their boat.

“They were in a bit of a blind panic. It really was a stressful phone call to say the least. They said they were in 5m seas, there was a storm brewing they had not anticipated and that they were in severe risk of sinking at the time and had their life jackets on.”

The dire situation was made even worse by the lack of power in David's mobile batteries which meant Mr Scott had to call him every 20 minutes and restrict the conversations to two or three minutes. At one point, the mobile's power did run out.

Martin called Yarmouth coastguard after making a third call to the stricken pair who told him the new vessel's engine had cut out and it was drifting towards shore.

The Spanish coastguard in Madrid was then alerted and sent out a rescue vessel out in vain to find the pair who had run aground at Cartagena.

“The final time I called was at 11.30pm when they had run aground and were knocking the doors of a house nearby. I could hear him shouting, 'hola, hola, wakey wakey we need help.' The homeowners must have been bemused at the site of two stranded Englishmen with life jackets,” he said.

The Spanish police were called and the sailors stayed at a hotel in Cartagena. David received medical treatment for an injury he sustained to his left leg.

Brian brought the Arbulolo two weeks ago and the pair were transporting it from Alicante to Malaga. Both men work for Mr Scott's firm Geotech.

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