A LONE yachtsman whose beloved boat dramatically sank in the North Sea has returned for another attempt at sailing to Norway.

Julian Mustoe, 84, spent nearly a year living on his vessel, Harrier of Down, but was left heartbroken when it went under while being towed to safety in October 2015.

The explorer lost all his possessions bar a small grab bag with his passport and bank cards.

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Now he is back in the Shetland Islands for another attempt thanks to a crowdfunding campaign that raised £10,000 for his new vessel, Zepherus.

“I’ve lived on a boat for 20 years,” he said. “So it’s the life that I know.”

In 2015, Mr Mustoe was stuck in the middle of the North Sea – 100 miles from Norway and 100 miles from Shetland – after running into steering trouble.

Shetland Coastguard deemed he was too far from the isles and a ship was sent from the Norwegian Coastguard to take him to Norway.

The rescue vessel, Bergen, was a “small warship with a full naval crew,” said Mr Mustoe. He scrambled off Harrier and was taken on to the Bergen.

He said he agreed with the captain that his stricken vessel should be towed at a slow speed and he went to get some rest in a cabin.

When he awoke his yacht was sinking.

He said: “Slowly she sank lower into the water. One last time her bow came up out of the water as if she were gasping for breath.”

Mr Mustoe, a retired teacher, said he has been overwhelmed with the support he has received.