Major rescue operation for woman missing after yacht collision

Three lifeboats, an air-sea rescue helicopter and other vessels are involved in the search Photo: Chris Warner / ITV News Anglia

An air-sea search has been launched for a woman reported missing from a yacht which collided with a dredger off Suffolk at Felixstowe.

The Thames Coastguard scrambled a team to the scene of the incident, approximately a mile off Felixstowe, at about 1.30pm on Sunday.

One of the people on board the yacht was pulled to safety but another is still missing. The man was treated in hospital.

The yacht sank after the collision with the dredger.

Lifeboats from Harwich and Walton were called to the scene along with an RAF rescue helicopter from Wattisham

It's understood there was a man and a woman on board the yacht along with two dogs. It's believed the vessel may have been a motor cruiser from Woodbridge or along the nearby River Deben. The RNLI says the yacht sank quickly after the collision.

It's reported that a plan to send divers down at slack water early in the evening was abandoned.

A survey vessel is out looking for the wreck using sonar.

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesman said: "Thames Coastguard is this afternoon coordinating a search after a yacht was in collision with a dredger approximately one mile off Felixstowe.

"One person on board the yacht was pulled to safety, however another person is unaccounted for at this time."

At least one lifeboat will continue the search for the missing woman overnight. Credit: Chris Warner / ITV News Anglia

"The Felixstowe Coastguard Rescue Team, two lifeboats from Harwich, two pilot boats, a dive boat, the search-and-rescue helicopter from RAF Wattisham and a number of other vessels are currently involved in the search."

– Maritime and Coastguard Agency

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency later confirmed the search would continue into the evening and that at least one lifeboat would remain on the scene to search throughout the night