Four people were rescued after making a Mayday call to say their 32ft yacht was in danger of being dismasted.

The Mayday call to Belfast Coastguard came in yesterday evening when the cruiser’s sail was blowing dangerously out of control in rough weather conditions.

Red Bay RNLI volunteers launched at 5.20pm yesterday evening and raced to the scene at Torr Head off the north Antrim Coast in Force 6 weather conditions amid a heavy three metre swell.

The stricken yacht had been on passage from Scotland to Bangor when it got into difficulty.

Once on scene, Red Bay RNLI put two crew members onboard the yacht to provide assistance.

In challenging weather conditions where the sail was ‘blowing out of control and the yacht was broaching in heavy seas’, crew members Charles Stewart and Conor McLaughlin cut away the rigging to make the yacht safe.

Due to the adverse weather conditions, Red Bay RNLI requested the assistance of Larne RNLI which launched at 6pm. Rathlin Ferry meanwhile, stood by.

Once the yacht was made safe and the waters were calmer, Red Bay RNLI proceeded to escort the  cruiser towards Garron Point where it was met by Larne RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat, which then escorted the yacht to Glenarm Marina.

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Red Bay RNLI helm Paddy McLaughlin said: ‘This was a particularly challenging call out given the weather conditions and the fact that the yacht’s sail was flapping so dangerously.

‘Thankfully, our crew who are highly trained and skilled were able to cut the rigging and make the yacht safe. The four people onboard the yacht are now returned to dry land where they are safe and well.’