Twelve people have been rescued after the boat they were on sank off the coast of Salcombe

A group of 10 divers and two crew were rescued when the 40ft Nelson they were on sank off the coast of Salcombe on Saturday.

The group let off a flare whenAquanautbegan taking on water just west of Salcombe. The flare alerted the crew of a passing yacht,Dutch Angel, who radioed for help and then proceeded to the scene to secure the liferaft and help the casualties out of the water.

Brixham Coastguard, who received the emergency call, sent a helicopter and both the Hope Cove Coastguard and the Salcombe RNLI lifeboats to the scene.

Mark Satchell of Brixham Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre said, “The dive boatAquanautsank after being hit by a stern wave, which swamped the boat just off Bolt Tail. Ten of the divers took to a liferaft and the remaining crew boarded the yacht on scene,Dutch Angel. Having the correct safety gear, flares and liferafts almost certainly aided the prompt and safe recovery of the casualties.”

The boat was owned by Plymouth-based Aquanauts Dive Centre. The cause of the incident is unknown although skipper Douglas Allen, who yesterday inspected the wreckage, told This is Plymouth, “Having inspected the boat we think it very unlikely that she was sunk purely by a wave, as this would normally wash off the sealed decks. I suspect either a rudder gland or exhaust had given way and caused the boat to take on water quickly below decks.”

All twelve passengers were reported as being safe and well with no need for medical assistance.