Yacht Rescue Attempt

Two lifeboats and a rescue helicopter were sent out to help a yacht which has got into difficulty in strong winds and rough seas off the coast of Deal.

The Liquid Vortex, which had seven crew on board, made an emergency call just after 5am.

Five of the crew are said to be suffering sea sickness and suspected hypothermia, and one has a possible injury to his jaw and ribs after falling over on the 40ft yacht.

Dover Coastguard sent out RNLI teams from Dungeness and Dover but the weather hampered rescue efforts.

Spike Hughes, from Dover Coastguard, said: "The weather conditions at this time are 50-knot winds and swells of 3-5 metres (10-16ft).''

The vessel was eventually escorted into Ramsgate because Dover was closed, two crew members were winched off into an RAF Resue Helicopter

Elsewhere, the QEII Bridge at Dartford has been forced to close because of the strong winds. Traffic from Essex into Kent is having to use the east tunnel at the crossing instead. 

Ferries services are also suffering disruption, with delays to crossing between Dover and Calais operated by P&O and DFDS Seaways. The Port of Dover was closed between 11 and 2pm