Coastguards in Cornwall co-ordinated the rescue of a container vessel 12 miles off Land's End.
The 2,200 tonne container ship the Sea Fox lost power at about 0030 GMT on Sunday after suffering a fire in her engine room.
Crew members alerted coastguards at Falmouth when they realised the ship's engine had failed.
The Sea Fox was brought to Falmouth under tow, despite coastguards being concerned her journey would be hampered by gale-force winds and heavy seas.
Coastguard tug the Anglian Princess was sent to the scene and towed the vessel back to port.
It is the first time the tug has had to tow a vessel since she came to Cornwall last March.
The Sea Fox was travelling from Liverpool to Latvia.