A BOAT called Titanic II lived up to its name when it sank at West Bay.

Mark Wilkinson had to abandon ship when the vessel went down as it returned into the harbour yesterday.

Coastguards and harbourmaster James Radcliffe were called into action to help moor the Titanic II as Mr Wilkinson climbed out of the water.

Margaret O’Callaghan, from Bridport, saw the boat go down and caught it on camera.

She said: “The guy was in a small cruiser on his own.

“Someone said to me, ‘That boat is sinking’.

“He was coming into the harbour and the back of the boat was going down.

“I shouted at him to jump as the back of the boat went right down and the bow was sticking out of the water.

“He was clinging on to the nose and the tide was taking the boat in. Someone threw a rope and tied it up to the side.

“The harbourmaster came out in a rib and managed to secure it and get it on to the slipway.

“The funny thing about it was that the name of the boat was Titanic II.”

Mrs O’Callaghan recently broke her leg and was in a wheelchair on the West Bay front when the incident happened.

She added: “The guy seemed fine.

“He was a big, beefy man in his 40s.

“He got out and was standing on the side smoking and dripping, trying to get dry.”

Mr Wilkinson, from Birmingham, was at the start of a holiday in Dorset and was going out a trip when the boat began to take on water.

He said: “My thanks go to the coastguards and the harbourmaster for all their help.”

West Bay coastguards attended as the drama unfolded at 10.45am.

The harbourmaster helped Mr Wilkinson lift the boat onto a trailer before it was towed away for repairs.

Portland Coastguard said that Mr Wilkinson was unhurt.

A spokesman said: “We got a 999 call about a boat which was sinking.

“West Bay coastguard officers attended and the harbourmaster was on scene.”

He added that they got a line on the partly sunk boat and secured it to the harbour wall.”

Harbourmaster Mr Radcliffe said that it was believed that an old repair job had come apart and caused the boat to take on water.