A yacht which was on passage from Hamble to Weymouth with two persons on board issued a Pan Pan emergency radio call when its engine failed and it started taking on water.

Solent Coastguard requested that Weymouth RNLI lifeboat be launched to assist.

A lifeboat spokesman said: "The all-weather lifeboat Ernest and Mabel was launched at 3.57pm on Thursday and was on scene 24 minutes later at 4.21pm.

"During that time the 31' yacht had drifted in the South Westerly force 3 winds to within 600m of the rocks between White Nothe and Bats Head.

"Following the initial broadcast three other vessels in the area including HMS Diamond also responded to the distress call.

"On arrival the volunteer crew of the lifeboat quickly established a tow and brought the yacht safely back to Weymouth Harbour arriving at 5.36pm.

"Once the yacht was tied up the lifeboat returned to its berth was refuelled and made ready for the next shout."