Family tragedy on the river

A SUFFOLK family has been left devastated after a yachtsman aged 43 died from a suspected heart attack during a weekend boating trip on the River Orwell.

A SUFFOLK family has been left devastated after a yachtsman aged 43 died from a suspected heart attack during a weekend boating trip on the River Orwell.

James Vinten, of Aspall Road, Debenham was sailing with his wife and three children when he collapsed on board the family's yacht.

His wife made an urgent 999 call and the search and rescue helicopter from Wattisham base was sent immediately to the vessel.

The family was anchored off Levington Marina, bound for Ipswich, enjoying a boating weekend on the 40 ft vessel Sea Wind II when tragedy struck at 8 am yesterday.

A spokeswoman for the ambulance service said: "The family were given resuscitation advice over the telephone and while this was going on the air-sea rescue and a land ambulance were dispatched. The man was thought to have had a cardiac arrest."

The unnamed man was airlifted by the Wattisham crew to an awaiting land ambulance where he was taken to the accident and emergency department of Ipswich Hospital but died on arrival.

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The Harwich all weather and insure lifeboats also attended the incident and coastguards from Felixstowe and Holbrook.

The vessel was later taken to Harwich Harbour.

The man's wife and children were taken to the hospital by friends who drove down from their home village to help.

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