Lost sailor found going backwards 12 miles off Norfolk coast

Caister lifeboat rescues yachtsman going the wrong way in North Sea off Norfolk

An almost five hour rescue operation saw the crew of Caister lifeboat rescue a yacht 12 miles off the coast going the wrong way. - Credit: Caister Lifeboat

A solo yachtsman who was lost and going the wrong way was located by a lifeboat crew and towed to safety.

The drama unfolded at around 2.10am on Wednesday when the Caister crew were alerted by the Coastguard after they lost contact with the solo skipper heading from Grimsby to Bristol.

Launching in around nine minutes they got to the yacht in half an hour and found it "going backwards".

Caister lifeboat rescues lost yachtsman going backwards in North Sea

Caister lifeboat sent second coxswain Tommy Williams, Richard Thurlow, Owen Nutt, Jack Atkinson, Jon Ringwood and Rob Bush under the command of coxswain Guy Gibson to a stricken yacht 12 miles off the coast. - Credit: Caister Lifeboat

Coxswain Guy Gibson said the man was "lost and disorientated" and had asked for navigation advice. He didn't appear to realise he was going the wrong way and being pushed back by the tide.

He said the man was found around 12 miles off Caister, aboard the 8m yacht Fantasma which was well equipped.

He was very tired and disorientated having not slept properly for several days and was making no headway.

"It was lucky it was a calm night," Mr Gibson said.

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Rescuers towed the boat to the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club at Lowestoft Harbour, arriving at 6.40am the journey taking almost four hours .