Ignored coastguard, refused help from RNLI and ran yacht aground in Eastbourne

Police detained a solo sailor under the Mental Health Act after he ignored warnings from the coastguard, refused assistance from the RNLI and ran his yacht aground in gale force winds.

The sailor, who has not been identified, was spotted having trouble off Bexhill on Friday morning.

Dover coastguard began monitoring erratic radio communications from the sailor, who had drifted the 36ft yacht dangerously close to the shore.

When the RNLI reached the 65-year-old man, he refused to make contact with them. Eventually the coastguard negotiated with the skipper but the lifeboat crew stood down after he refused all assistance.

The coastguard continued to monitor the yacht and later received a Mayday alert when she ran aground at 8pm.

The RNLI struggled to reach the yacht due to the low tide and breaking surf. The sailor was eventually rescued at around 10.45pm, when he was taken to hospital and detained under the Mental Health Act.