Ramsgate’s all weather lifeboat was launched to assist a 30ft yacht which had been dismasted after a collision with a container ship 24 miles east of the town.

The call came in at 7.58am yesterday, Sunday 13 November.

Another vessel was standing by, relaying the casualty’s VHF transmissions to the UK Coastguard as, due to having no mast, the yacht’s sole crew member was relying on a hand held radio.

The Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Lydd arrived on scene first and took over communications with UK Coastguard and the lifeboat crew.

Once on scene the lifeboat crew confirmed that the yacht was not taking on any water and it was decided to tow the stricken vessel to the safety of Ramsgate Harbour. A line and a hand held VHF radio were passed to the yacht’s single-handed sailor, who wished to remain aboard.

The yacht was then towed safely onto a berth in Ramsgate Harbour where it arrived shortly before 2pm.

The incident is under investigation with the Marine Accident Investigation Branch.