Clacton RNLI lifeboat crew in eight-hour rescue

A lifeboat crew spent eight hours at sea to rescue a couple whose yacht ran aground off Essex.

The boat got into trouble 15 miles (24km) from Clacton on Tuesday afternoon and was leaning over when the RNLI lifeboat arrived.

The couple in their 60s were eventually towed in their vessel to Brightlingsea in the dark, because the boat had no lights.

Clacton helmsman Trevor Neal said the pair were "nervous and uncomfortable".

The couple, from the Manningtree area, radioed the coastguard to say their 33ft (10m) yacht was high and dry on Foulness Sands at 15:35 BST.

"[They] were nervous and uncomfortable so we decided to stay with them until it refloated at 21:10 BST," said Mr Neal.

"They were not confident enough to navigate in the dark and had no navigation lights so we put a crewman onboard and towed them."

The Atlantic 85 lifeboat and stricken yacht eventually arrived at the station at about 23:45 BST.

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