TWO people were rescued from a sinking yacht by Great Yarmouth and Gorle-ston lifeboat on Sunday. The all-weather lifeboat, the Samarbeta, was launched at about 5.
TWO people were rescued from a sinking yacht by Great Yarmouth and Gorle-ston lifeboat on Sunday.
The all-weather lifeboat, the Samarbeta, was launched at about 5.30am to rescue two men aboard the stricken motor yacht Boudiccia, which had gotten into difficulty.
The 25ft yacht had sailed from Lowestoft and was bound for Helmsdale, in Scotland, when it ran aground on Scroby Sands two-and-a-half miles north-east of Yarmouth.
The lifeboat was on scene within minutes but due to shallow water was unable to get close enough to the casualties, who were soaking wet after the yacht began to take on water.
A Putford rescue rib then arrived on the scene to assist the lifeboat which by this time had launched its smaller inshore lifeboat. After several unsuccessful attempts at getting a tow attached to the yacht, coxswain Steve Bartram decided it was too dangerous and told the crew to leave the vessel.
At this point, the 1960s-built wooden yacht began taking on more water and the two crewmen were quickly pulled from the yacht and taken on to the lifeboat and back to Gorleston.
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Later that morning, at about 8.45pm, the lifeboats returned to the stricken yacht and the inshore lifeboat pumped hundreds of gallons of water from the vessel and secured a towline to the mast. The inshore lifeboat then worked the yacht free from the sand and towed it off the sandbank.
The drama took another twist, with the badly damaged yacht taking on more water and starting to sink but a quick-thinking crew member cut the towline with a knife and the Boudiccia disappeared beneath the waves.
Coxswain Steve Bartram said: “It was touch and go for a while which is why I decided the two men should be saved first. It was a real shame to lose the yacht after everyone had tried so hard to save it.”
A coastguard spokesman said the swift rescue averted any danger to life, and the pair, who were taken back to the lifeboat station, did not need hospital treatment.