Air and sea rescue teams are searching for a 65-year-old lone yachtswoman who is reported missing off the Devon and Cornwall coast.

Falmouth Coastguard said the woman failed to make contact with relatives on Sunday evening as expected, having left the Cornish port of Mousehole to head around the foot of the county and north to Bideford in Devon at around 6.30pm the previous day. Neither the skipper nor her 31ft yacht Seagair have been seen since the alarm was raised, the coastguard said. 

Three RNLI lifeboats from Penlee, Sennen Cove and St Ives have been requested to launch and are searching for the missing yacht. A first-light air search by rescue helicopters from RNAS Culdrose and RAF Chivenor has been planned and they will join the search. Coastguard rescue officers from north Cornwall and north Devon will conduct a shoreline search. 

Steve Huxley, search and rescue communications manager with Falmouth Coastguard, said: ``The woman departed Mousehole on Saturday evening onboard her newly purchased vessel. We understand that she was heading for Bideford. We have been unable to find her and are very concerned for her safety.'' 

Members of the public who may have seen or heard from the skipper of the Seagair should contact Falmouth Coastguard on 01326 317 575.