Hope For Missing Essex Sailors

8 February 2011, 14:02 | Updated: 18 February 2011, 14:45

Friends of two British sailors missing after a yacht capsized in rough seas off Portugal are "hoping for a miracle''.

Chris Hull, who is in his early 50s, and Glenn Foster, 24, who both live in Southend, disappeared after their boat capsized near Porto early on Saturday, coastguards said.

A third sailor, who is also from Southend, is recovering after being rescued.

Coastguards said the three men had been sailing the yacht, Water Waves, from Spain, and hit a storm as they as they headed to a marina near Porto.

A fellow sailor said Mr Hull was an experienced sailor who "knew what he was doing''.

Peter Thompson, commodore of Thorpe Bay Yacht Club near Southend, where Mr Hull was a member, said: "It is understood the yacht was on its way from Vigo, Spain, to Gibraltar and the yacht had been trying to enter a marina at Povoa de Varzim, just north of the city of Porto, when (it was) struck by a wave and capsized".

Fellow yachtsman Glenn Stoneham added, in a message on the club's website: "Chris is a great guy. We are hoping for a miracle.''