An elderly solo sailor was rescued and taken to hospital after his 32ft yacht suffered engine failure and ran aground on rocks off Bognor Regis.

UK Coastguard received the report last night and HM Coastguard Littlehampton, Selsey Coastguard Rescue Team, Selsey Lifeboat Station and RNLI Littlehampton Lifeboat were sent to the scene.

Due to the combination of the vessel’s precarious situation, the tide state, and prevailing weather conditions, neither of the two lifeboats could safely get close enough to the vessel to attach a line, or, remove the skipper.

Littlehampton Coastguard carried out a ‘technical water rescue’. which involved three Coastguard Rescue Officers wading out to the vessel to rescue the lone sailor, an elderly man who was starting to suffer from mild hypothermia.

He was accompanied safely to shore, where he was treated by the South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and later transferred to hospital.

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The vessel was secured by the Selsey and Littlehampton Coastguards and the lifeboats were stood down.

A UK Coastguard spokesman said: ‘The Coastguard Rescue teams were later stood down just after 4am. The Master of the vessel is arranging salvage and until the vessel is clear of its position, we are urging the public to keep at a safe distance from the yacht.’