Search for yacht skipper called off

Hillingdon Times: RNLI crews joined the search for a missing man on Saturday RNLI crews joined the search for a missing man on Saturday

A large-scale air, land and sea search for the skipper of a yacht found beached with its engine still running but with no-one on board has been called off.

No sign of the man has been found after a member of the public discovered his vessel, called Brigand, ashore with one of its sails up near Brighstone on the Isle of Wight.

Solent Coastguard watch manager David Williams said it is believed the skipper left Poole in Dorset on Saturday morning with the intention of sailing to Hayling Island.

Following the discovery of the grounded yacht, a five-hour search was launched at about 5.15pm on Saturday involving two Coastguard helicopters and RNLI lifeboats while broadcasts were made to passing vessels to be alert to objects in the water.

Despite the extensive operation, no sign of anyone was found and it was called off late on Saturday, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said.

A fresh search began again early on Sunday for the skipper, who has not been identified, but the MCA said it was called off with nothing found.

A Solent Coastguard spokesman said: "The search has been suspended but if we get any new information that prompts us to an area then we will recommence a search."

Coastguards have urged people about to set out to sea to ensure they are familiar with their boat and equipment, have proper training and ensure their crew wear well-maintained and correctly fitting lifejackets.

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