Search underway after yacht found run aground off Yorkshire with no sign of crew

A search operation including lifeboats and a helicopter has begun after a small yacht was discovered run aground with no sign of its crew.

The boat, called Don't Panic, left Scarborough on Monday evening and was spotted run aground off the North Yorkshire resort's West Pier early on Tuesday morning, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said.

It is believed two people had been on board.

The MCA said an extensive sea and coast search was begun after attempts to contact boat owner Paul Rhodes failed.

Mike Puplett from UK Coastguard said: "Our primary concern is obviously to find this crew.

"If you know where they are or if you are that crew, please let us know. We just need to know that you are safe."

An MCA spokesman said the blue and white yacht left Scarborough at around 5.30pm on Monday and its departure from the harbour was captured on CCTV.

He said that at 4.20am on Tuesday a fishing vessel crew reported to the coastguard that they had seen a yacht run aground off West Pier which turned out to be the Don't Panic.

Coastguard rescue teams from Scarborough and Burniston are conducting a shoreline search and lifeboats from Scarborough and a search and rescue helicopter from Humberside are searching the sea.

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