Page last updated at 11:32 GMT, Thursday, 17 April 2008 12:32 UK

Lifeboat rescues struggling yacht

A vessel drifting off Sussex narrowly avoided hitting a pier and had to be towed by lifeboats.

Dover Coastguard received a mayday call close to midnight on Tuesday, from a yacht with a crew of three which ran into difficulty near Eastbourne Pier.

When they arrived coastguards learned that the yacht had lost its mainsail and was having engine problems.

Lifeboats from Eastbourne managed to pass a rope to the boat before towing it to safety at Sovereign Harbour.

Coastguard officer Stuart McNab said: "These were experienced sailors who were unfortunate to get into difficulties.

"They did well by putting out their Mayday call so soon and enabling the lifeboat to get to them quickly."

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