Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Sailors rescued from yacht in storm

Two sailors have been rescued from their yacht after getting into difficulty at sea in a storm.

Lifeboat crews and an RAF helicopter were alerted after a distress call from the yacht at 11:00 on Saturday.

The two Newcastle men were sailing from Arbroath to Eyemouth when they became stranded east of the Isle of May, off the coast of Anstruther in Fife.

An RNLI spokesman said the crews had struggled to locate the yacht in 40mph winds and high waves.

"The yacht was only managing to put out a weak radio signal and the lifeboats were at first unable to find it in the storm," he said.

"Eventually the stricken yacht was spotted by Dunbar's all-weather lifeboat, the John Neville Taylor, which managed to get alongside it on the fourth attempt.

"A crewman went on board to assist the yacht's two cold, wet and exhausted sailors."

'Sails had shredded'

Dunbar lifeboat crewman Gary Fairbairn said: "The boat's sails had shredded and some of the shrouds holding up the mast had snapped.

"With our crewman on board we managed to tow the yacht to calmer waters in the lee of the Isle of May and get the two sailors off into the warmth of the lifeboat."

The yacht was then towed to Pittenweem in Fife where the two men were checked by paramedics.

They did not need hospital treatment.

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