Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Search under way for missing yacht in English Channel

A major search is under way in the English Channel after a yacht sent out a distress call.

A merchant vessel reported a VHF radio message from the trimaran reporting it to be in difficulty and at risk of capsizing shortly before 17:00 BST.

The Portland and Solent Coastguard helicopters, as well as a navy vessel and two lifeboats, are searching 37 miles (60km) south of the Needles.

Sea conditions are described as rough with strong south-westerly winds.

A statement from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said "No further contact with the vessel has been possible since and limited information was available in the Mayday call."

It added that coastguards coordinating the search and rescue operation have not been notified of any overdue vessels, but anyone with information about a trimaran vessel known to be sailing in the mid channel should contact the coastguard.

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