Sailors missing after capsize - hopes fade

The wreckage from British sailing boat WaterWave at Povoa de Varzim harbour entrance
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A massive search continues, but hopes are now fading to miracle size for two British sailors after their yacht Water Waves was struck by a very large wave and capsized in rough seas off the coast of Portugal.

Chris Hull, 52, and Glenn Foster, 24, both from Essex, disappeared after their boat got into trouble near Porto early on Saturday while they were on a voyage from Vigo in Spain to Gibraltar. A third sailor, Chris Brook, also 24, swam to safety at Povoa de Varzim and was rescued by a fisherman, who noticed him clinging to a yellow buoy in the dark.

Because of the rough seas, Water Waves had been heading for a marina and safety when the capsize occurred at about 3.30am last Saturday. After the capsize the yacht crashed into rocks on the shore.

Peter Thompson, commodore of Thorpe Bay Yacht Club where Mr Hull was a member, described him as an experienced sailor who 'knew what he was doing'.

Port officer Julio Rocha for the Portuguese port of Vigo said a Portuguese search aircraft had joined the search for the men.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: 'We are aware of a boating accident off the coast of Portugal involving three British Nationals, two of whom are missing. 'We have offered consular assistance.'