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Last Updated: Friday, 23 November 2007, 21:37 GMT
Three dead after cruiser capsizes
An RAF Rescue helicopter rescuing the crew
The dead woman had been airlifted to hospital
A third person has died after a boat capsized in heavy seas off the North Yorkshire coast.

Two men and a woman were taken to hospital after they were rescued from the sea when their 24ft cabin cruiser turned over near Whitby Harbour.

A man and the woman died soon after the rescue and the second man died after several hours in hospital.

The boat had set off from the harbour and it appeared to attempt to turn back after a warning from lifeboat crews.

A coastguard spokesman said: "The cruiser appears to have left Whitby Harbour and got into difficulties about 100 yards from the sea wall."

'Atrocious conditions'

The spokesman said that at one point, people in the harbour who had called the coastguard had been unable to see the victims in the water because of the swell of the sea.

"The swell was around 20ft to 30ft high," he said.

Mike Bill, rescue co-ordination centre manager at Humber Coastguard, warned people to be wary of going out on to rough seas.

"We do not understand why these people went out in such conditions," he added.

A Whitby RNLI spokesman said the cruiser went out in "atrocious weather conditions".

He said: "It was seen leaving Whitby harbour by volunteers at Whitby RNLI lifeboat station, who attempted to contact the boat by radio to warn them of the dangerous sea conditions.

"Soon after leaving the harbour the boat was seen attempting to turn around but capsized in the rough seas."



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The rescue services describe the incident



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