At midnight on 12 May, Cowes lifeboat was tasked by HM Coastguard to assist White's 14m (47ft) yacht Marathon just west of Cowes with engine failure.

Disabled sailor Keith White cast off on his non-stop around Britain and Ireland sailing Challenge at 9am on Friday, 12 May 2017.

The Isle of Wight yachtsman, who lost the use of his left arm in a motorway accident in 1991, aims to become the first disabled sailor to achieve a non-stop round Britain and Ireland voyage.

However at midnight on 12 May, Cowes lifeboat B859 tasked by HM Coastguard to assist White’s 14m (47ft) yacht Marathon just west of Cowes with engine failure.

A Cowes lifeboat spokesman said: ‘The sole crew member was embarking on a round Britain and Ireland voyage hoping to be the first disabled sailor to do this.

He will leave Cowes, sail west about and return to East Cowes.

‘The lifeboat crew took the yacht in tow to a berth in the River Medina where repairs could be made.

‘This is Cowes Lifeboat’s 18th service of 2017 and adds to the high number of night-time shouts that have gone out this year.’

White’s voyage will see him sail from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, clockwise around the British Isles. The voyage will take him non-stop around the west coast of Ireland and St Kilda, passing north of the Shetlands Islands and south past the east coast of England to Dover, then west along the English channel and back home to the Isle of Wight.

Keith said on his ‘Keith White Disabled Sailor‘ Facebook page: ‘Sorry all. I had to come back the first time to fix the wind vane as a cog was one tooth out of phase and would not balance on the wind.

‘While charging in the batteries the engine cooked and stopped with overheating, been working on the engine all morning now, changed the engine oil and now doing the gearbox oil, had to come ashore to get the right oil for the job.

‘What caused this was the filter strainer on the gearbox was blocked solid with things picked up from under the hull.

‘Still the engine works now, the water to the header tank keeping the engine cool works fine now that I cleaned it all through this morning.’

He added: ‘I spent most of Saturday running around to get Marathon up and running, I got to wait till Monday to get the oil for the gearbox as all the shops are closed over the weekend and my Yellow Brick tracker seems to be down to as it still not working so will take it off for checking on Monday too and set off ASAP.’