Seasick sailors rescued from yacht off Portland Bill

Sixteen sailors were rescued when their yacht lost its mast and sails in rough seas off the Dorset coast.

The 30m (100ft) sail training vessel, Leader, experienced difficulties off Portland Bill at around 17:30 BST on Monday.

The RNLI took more than four hours to get the crew safely to Weymouth Harbour in rough conditions.

By the time they reached land, all 16 sailors were reported to be severely seasick.

Lashed to hull

A spokeswomen for Trinity Sailing Foundation, which operates the boat and is based in Brixham in Devon, said Leader's mainmast broke but none of the crew were injured.

The mast, the rigging and mainsail fell into the sea alongside the vessel, and were lashed to the hull to prevent them causing damage.

Onboard, in addition to a professional crew, was a group of young people from Plymouth on a personal development training voyage.

The vessel is a former sailing trawler built in 1892 and is one of 200 vessels on the National Historic Fleet, the spokeswoman said.

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