A single-handed yachtsman ‘regrets not calling for help until it was too late’ after his 42ft cruiser ran aground on a Norfolk beach.

An RNLI spokesman said the lone sailor was ‘thrown ashore by the impact with the groynes’. He was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Happisburgh Lifeboat Station volunteers’ pagers sounded at 7.21am on Saturday morning to reports of the yacht aground just off the station at Cart Gap.

A spokesman said: ‘Joan Mary the station’s Atlantic lifeboat was launched with Tim Grimmer at the helm and Cubitt Siely Jnr and Tony Phenix as crew.

‘They proceeded to the yacht; the sea was flat with poor visibility. The lifeboat was soon alongside the vessel, the lone sailor had been thrown ashore by the impact with the groins.

‘Other crew from the station made their way along the beach and Coastguard gave first aid to the sailor, who had cuts and bruises, before he was checked over by an ambulance crew.’

The lifeboat crew were soon joined by the Coastguards from Mundesley and Happisburgh.

Happisburgh lifeboat stayed on scene until 9.30am when the crew were stood down by the Coastguard.

The RNLI spokesman added: ‘The yacht was en route from Hull to the Thames Estuary when he lost wind and his engine failed to start and he ran into the groynes. The yachtsman regrets not calling for help until it was too late.

‘The RNLI would advise all yachtsmen to always inform the Coastguard of their route and time they intended to arrive at their destination, have a working radio and know how to use it and always wear a lifejacket when on deck or in rough weather.’

The Coastguard remained with the yacht and was joined by the fire service to remove diesel from the yacht as it was still aground and holed with a rising tide on Saturday afternoon.