Two people were airlifted to safety after their yacht began to take in water and also suffered engine failure, off the North East coast of England.

The call came in as a Mayday to Humber Coastguard Operation Centre at 7.36am yesterday from the Dolphin of Rhu, reported to be north of the windfarm between Skegness and the River Humber.

Calculating the boat’s position had to be done using VHF direction finding because there seemed to be no GPS and two lifeboats – Humber and Skegness were tasked to find the vessel.

Two of Centrica Energy’s windcat transfer vessels also came to the aid of the yacht.

The Coastguard Rescue Helicopter from Humberside was called in because of the potentially serious nature of the incident.

Hull Coastguard Rescue Team was also tasked as initially it was thought the crew might need hospital treatment, but was stood down because both were uninjured.

The yacht was towed back to Grimsby by the Humber Lifeboat.

Jolene Smith, deputising senior maritime operations officer for the Coastguard said: ‘These people did the right thing by calling the Coastguard in as soon as they could.

‘We recommend that where possible, all vessels within 30 miles of the shore, are fitted DSC VHF, a charged mobile phone, flares, powerful torch and Personal Locator Beacon. It’s also good to be very familiar with how everything works so that if an emergency happens you can quickly locate and use what you need to.’

‘To help us to find you, if you do get into difficulty, consider joining the MCA’s voluntary CG66 safety identification scheme.’