STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
BALEARIC Maritime Rescue Vessel, the Marta Mata, has successfully picked up the two missing crew members of motor launch Umbalika who had been reported unaccounted for after leaving the port of Palma on a journey to Tarragona three days ago.

Anxious relatives of the two men, both in their fifties - one Briton from London and the other a Belgian - raised the alarm late on Wednesday night when the launch failed to arrive in Tarragaona. The Umbalika, 14 metres in length, was motoring under a British flag and had sunk in heavy weather off the island of Dragonera leaving the crew just enough time to inflate the life raft.

A spokesman for the Emergency services said that once the alarm had been raised, a call went out to the coastguard and all rescue vessels in the area so that a wide arc of co-ordinated scanning could be implemented. An extensive air, sea search ensued covering the waters between Majorca and Catalonia and a Balearic government helicopter had scoured the length of the island coast abutting the Tramuntana Mountain range.