An elderly yachtsman sparked an extensive air and sea search last night after losing his tender

An elderly yachtsman who lost his tender sparked an extensive air and sea search last night, before being discovered safe and well on his boat in North Wales.

Concerns were raised when the Porthmadoc harbourmaster found an empty dinghy with one oar missing. Video surveillance revealed the tender had been rowed by an elderly man in a puffer jacket at around 9.50pm, prompting Holyhead Coastguard to initiate a search.

North Wales police, two coastguard rescue teams, an RAF helicopter and Criccieth inshore lifeboat took part in the search, which eventually established the man’s whereabouts at 12.45am.

The man was found onboard his yacht on a swinging mooring, and reported that his tender had become detached from the vessel. He was persuaded to return ashore on the inshore lifeboat, due to worsening weather conditions, which were already Southerly Force 7 with a 3m swell.

Barry Priddis, Holyhead Coastguard Watch Manager, said the teams had carried out the search bearing in mind that the man could have been ashore or onboard a boat. ‘We would like to remind members of the public that they should always report the loss of vessels of this kind to the coastguard or police in order to prevent false alarms such as the incident tonight,’ he added.