The Yarmouth RNLI all-weather lifeboat was called to assist a 22ft yacht, White Osbeat, in distress off Hengistbury Head in Christchurch Bay north west of the Needles yesterday morning.

A lifeboat spokesman said: ‘At the time, the weather was atrocious.  The south westerly wind was gusting 35 knots (force 7) and the visibility was very poor.

‘The lifeboat Coxswain described the sea as very rough. The yacht had a serious rigging failure and was in danger of losing her mast.’

The yacht had two crew members on board who had raised the alarm. Yarmouth RNLI lifeboat was soon on the scene and took the yacht in tow.  It took two hours to bring the yacht to safety due to the weather conditions. No one was hurt.