Twelve 'seasick and exhausted' rowers saved at sea

Twelve rowers have been saved off the Suffolk and Essex coast, the RNLI has said.

The charity said many of the rowers were "incapacitated by severe seasickness and exhaustion" when they were rescued at about 13:50 BST on Wednesday.

The distress call was received by RNLI Harwich late Wednesday morning from the 12-metre (39ft) vessel, 38 miles (61km) east of Landguard Point.

The most seriously ill rower had already been airlifted to Ipswich Hospital by the time the crew arrived, the RNLI said. After assessing the remaining rowers, the vessel was towed back to Harwich, Essex.

The lifeboat arrived back at base at about 20:00 and the rowers were "then welcomed into the lifeboat station for hot drinks and a much-needed rest", said Adam Prescott, volunteer RNLI Lifeboat press officer.

Their vessel was the sort that is used to cross the Atlantic, and was on a trip in the North Sea.

"The exhausted rowers expressed immense gratitude for the swift and professional assistance provided by the Harwich RNLI volunteers," he added.

The woman who had been airlifted to hospital is now reported to be in a stable condition.

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