TWO experienced sailors were rescued by a lifeboat crew after their boat capsized in strong winds.

Lyme Regis RNLI lifeboat was called out to reports of the pair 500 metres south of the town’s harbour.

Sam Brearey, 30, from Canterbury, and Christian Birrell, also 30, from London, were training for a national sailing championships event next weekend when the forestay – a rope supporting the mast – broke and their boat capsized, throwing them both overboard.

Both men were in the water when the lifeboat crew arrived.

The 14 foot sailing boat with the two men aboard was then towed by the lifeboat to Lyme Regis harbour on Sunday.

Sam Brearey said: “Despite all the experience we have both gained, if the forestay goes you have a major problem.

“We were very pleased to see the lifeboat crew, who were brilliant at working together to recover us and the boat.

“There was simply nothing we could do after the forestay broke.”

The volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch by coastguards at 2.27pm and returned to Lyme Regis harbour at 4pm.