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Channel racer falls from yacht

Channel racer falls from yacht

A British man has died after falling from a yacht during a historic race in the Channel, police have said.

The sailor, whose identity has not been disclosed, was from the Greater Manchester area, according to Sussex police.

The incident is understood to have happened off the north-west of France at about 2pm on Friday during the Royal Escape Race.

HM Coastguard said it gave communications support to French rescue services during the incident north of Fécamp, Normandy, and a French helicopter and a lifeboat were dispatched. A nearby fishing vessel also went to the scene to assist rescue teams.

The man was winched aboard the helicopter and flown to hospital in the port city of Le Havre.

The 43rd Royal Escape Race, between Brighton and Normandy, began on Friday.

The event started in 1977 to celebrate the Queen’s silver jubilee and is among the oldest offshore sailing races in the country.

Participants follow the route Charles II took aboard the coal barge Surprise from Shoreham-by-Sea to the port of Fécamp.

In a statement on its Facebook page, Sussex Yacht Club, host of the annual event, said: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of our fellow sailors yesterday.

“We are working with police, maritime and coastguard agencies and the Marine Accident Investigation Bureau to assist with their inquiries.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and supporting our fellow sailors at this difficult time.”

Source: The Guardian