THESE are the dramatic scenes of a boat sinking 60 metres to the bottom of the sea after its crew had been winched to safety.

All four men aboard the 20-metre motor cruiser Addarwa escaped uninjured and were carried away by helicopter as two lifeboats from Weymouth arrived at the scene, a mile south of Portland.

Lifeboat crew coxswain Andy Sargent said he arrived with his crew to save the Italian-made vessel but it had already taken on too much water.

He said: “The crew of the boat were on their passage from Gosport to Dartmouth, as the owners were from Bristol.

“They noticed a problem steering and saw a vast amount of water coming in by the bow and their initial call to the coastguard was upgraded to a mayday call.

“The coastguard requested the lifeboat and the helicopter lifted the last people off a few minutes before we arrived.

“We tried to use a portable pump to save the boat so that we could tow it in.

“But the decks were awash with water and there was too much so we had to let it sink.”

The two lifeboats remained close to the boat to watch it go down and make sure the area was safe.

Mr Sargent added: “We had to wait to let it sink to ensure it was not a hazard and to pick up the flotsam.

“When it sank two liferafts floated free and inflated and there were also life jackets and seat cushions.

“We tried with the pump but with no-one on board and with the state of the vessel it was unsafe for our crews to go rooting around.”

It is believed the new owner of the boat was part of the four-man crew and had been waiting for the right conditions to take it home.

Mr Sargent said the water was flat at the time with force two westerly winds The lifeboat was called out at 3pm to attend the boat, which sank around 5pm. The owner of the boat declined to comment.