The yacht from which an 82-year-old man was rescued in the North Sea has sunk during attempts to tow it to Norway.

Yachtsman Julian Mustoe was rescued by a Norwegian Coastguard vessel on Wednesday (07 October) after his stricken boat began drifting towards an oil platform.

After his rescue, the yacht – Harrier of Down – was taken under tow.

The Coastguard said that the vessel took on a lot of water and had sunk to a depth of 300m in the North Sea.

The 25ft Harrier of Down lost steering on Tuesday evening (06 October) about 100 miles off the coast of Shetland. Concern was raised when it came within half a mile of Total’s Alwyn North platform. Mr Mustoe, an experienced sailor, initially refused an offer to be airlifted to safety by a Norwegian helicopter because he didn’t want to leave his boat abandoned.

After the rescue, a Total spokesperson said: “Last night a small yacht was reported to be drifting within a half mile of Total’s Alwyn North platform.

“The Coastguard and the Alywn North’s Emergency Response Vessel (ERV) offered support to the yacht.

“At all times the situation was closely monitored and under control by both the coastguard and the ERV.

“The Alwyn North platform did not go to muster and no plans were made for evacuation.”

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