The historic vessel's wooden mast broke, sending the rigging and sails overboard

Four people on board a 100-year-old sailing

vessel Ruth called for help when the boat lost its main mast off the Cornish coast.

The

Lizard’s all-weather lifeboat launched just after 9.30am yesterday

morning, to attend the incident three

miles southwest of Lizard Point.

The Master of Ruth had

contacted Falmouth Coastguard requesting assistance when the Baltic Trading vessel’s

wooden mast broke, sending the rigging and sails overboard.

Once on scene

it was obvious to the lifeboat crew that the mast was far too big and

heavy to get back onboard and there was concern that if the Ruth‘s engine was started the rigging may foul her propeller.

Two Lizard lifeboat crew members were transferred onto the vessel to set up a towline.

It took more than four hours against the flood tide to tow the vessel

to Falmouth Harbour, where she was placed on a mooring.

Lifeboat station mechanic Dan Atkinson said: ‘Ruth is a lovely old wooden Baltic

Trading vessel. Her main mast collapsed and the Master had no other

option but to give the Coastguard a call for assistance. We set up a

line on board and towed her steadily to Falmouth.’

To find out more about The Lizard lifeboat station visit www.thelizardlifeboat.org.uk

Picture: Sailing vessel Ruth being towed into Falmouth Harbour. Credit: RNLI