Night sea search after yacht washes up at Southbourne

Washed up yacht Image copyright RNLI
Image caption Concerns were raised after a vessel was found washed up in Southbourne

Rescuers spent the night searching the seas off Dorset after a yacht was found washed up on a beach at Southbourne.

A helicopter and three lifeboats spent 10 hours scanning the coastline amid fears someone could be in the water.

The search was called off at 05:00 GMT after nothing was found.

Poole lifeboat crew described the discovery of the vessel as "a mystery". Police later said the owner, a 40-year-old man from Bournemouth, had been located in Christchurch on Wednesday.

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The 21ft yacht was reported washed up at the end of the groyne at Hengistbury Head shortly after 19:15 on Tuesday.

Thorough search

Volunteer helmsman Jonathan Clark said: "The information that came through was that there may have been a person or people in the water due to how the vessel was found.

"Along with Mudeford [lifeboat crew], we thoroughly searched a large area and were at sea for a long time, working alongside other agencies.

"It is a mystery how the vessel came to be ashore and this will be further investigated by the coastguard."

A coastguard spokeswoman said the "large-scale search" involving coastguards, police and the RNLI was launched after a 999 call reporting a small unmanned yacht.

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