Yachtsman dies as gale hits coast

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A yachtsman died yesterday after he was washed into the sea as gales swept the South coast. The accident happened when his boat was 'knocked flat' in 60 mph winds three miles south of the Needles, Isle of Wight.

The man, who was in his thirties, was pulled from the sea unconscious by a lifeboat crew, who tried in vain to resuscitate him. He was taken by helicopter to St Mary's Hospital, Newport, where he died shortly after being admitted. Four other men suffering from hypothermia and shock were rescued from the vessel.

Dave Kennet, coxswain of the Yarmouth lifeboat, which led the rescue, described the conditions as appalling. 'The seas are literally mountainous,' he said. Attempts to salvage the yacht were abandoned.