Gosport sailor Alex Thomson rescued by helicopter

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SKIPPER Alex Thomson has been rescued after the yacht he was racing began sinking.

Thomson and Guillermo Altadill, fellow skipper of yacht HUGO BOSS in the Transat Jacques Vabre, set off their emergency beacon this afternoon at 1.25pm.

The Spanish Coastguard was informed and sent a rescue helicopter to their location –82 nautical miles from the Spanish coast.

Both men were rescued by helicopter and are on their way back to land.

HUGO BOSS incurred some structural damage earlier this week forcing Thomson and Altadill to stop racing.

The skippers had made a repair and were on route to A Coruna where the technical team were waiting to meet them.

After sailing for 36 hours in high seas and strong winds, the structure of the boat deteriorated further and the boat started to take on water and sink.

Managing director Stewart Hosford said: ‘Our first concern is with Alex and Guillermo and when they are safely on the ground we will address the situation with our IMOCA 60 and begin the salvage process. We are grateful for the swift response from the rescue services in this situation.’