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Last Updated: Monday, 20 August 2007, 07:30 GMT 08:30 UK
Man rescued from stricken yacht
Rescue helicopter
A helicopter from RAF Boulmer winched the sailor to safety
A sailor was airlifted to safety minutes before his 30ft yacht was destroyed by heavy seas.

The skipper of the "Joan of Arc" sent out a mayday message as his boat was smashed onto rocks at Boulby in Teesside on Sunday evening.

Large waves and heavy winds prevented lifeboat crews reaching the yacht.

The man collapsed unconscious after being winched onto an RAF helicopter but is now recovering after being treated for fractures to his hands.

Lee Jackson, of Staithes and Runswick RNLI station, said: "The conditions at sea were what you would expect in the middle of winter.

"The lifeboat tried several times to get to the yacht and take the man off but it was just too dangerous for the crew.

"The yacht was hard aground and taking a pounding."

A spokeswoman for Humber Coastguard said the boat was destroyed five minutes after the rescue.

A crew from Redcar station also assisted.


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