The crew of a Scarborough yacht who abandoned their boat but didn't tell emergency services they were safe has been criticised by the RNLI as "irresponsible."
An extensive search was carried out involving a helicopter, two lifeboats, coastguards and police after the yacht Don't Panic was spotted off Marine Drive in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday), with no sign of the crew.
The yacht left Scarborough early yesterday evening (Monday) around 5.30pm, but later suffered a mechanical failure. Around 4.20am today a fishing vessel reported to the UK Coastguard operations room that it had spotted the yacht, which turned out to be Don’t Panic.
Attempts to contact the owner were unsuccessful. HM Coastguard Rescue Teams from Scarborough and Burniston conducted a shoreline search, while lifeboats from Scarborough and the HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter scoured the sea.
Both Scarborough RNLI lifeboats were launched just before 6am. The search was called off three and a half hours later. RNLI Scarborough press officer Dave Barry said: "The main thing we have a problem with is they got off the boat without telling anyone. If the boat is knackered fine, but tell someone. It was irresponsible. It has wasted a lot of time and resources."