Wales

Search carried out off Rhyl for yacht in distress

Rhyl coast Image copyright Geograph / Jaggery
Image caption The yacht was tracked to eight nautical miles off Rhyl but ended up drifting much further north

A search was carried out overnight for a yacht in distress in bad weather off the north Wales coast.

Holyhead Coastguard received a broken radio message just after 00:00 BST, and half an hour later a 999 telephone call came through but dropped out.

The signal was traced to a position out at sea, about eight nautical miles north of Rhyl, and a Google search linked the phone number to a sailor.

By the time the boat with two people on board was found, it was near Blackpool.

The Rhyl RNLI all-weather lifeboat was launched at 02:20 and had searched until 05:00 when a further radio distress message was received.

By then, the 32ft ketch was much further north, about 24 nautical miles west of Blackpool.

The yacht, travelling from Plymouth to Fleetwood, had suffered engine and electrical failure.

A Holyhead coastguard spokesman said conditions at the time were very poor.

An RNLI lifeboat from Fleetwood was launched to bring the yacht under tow.

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