Falmouth's RNLI all weather lifeboat was called out last night to help an exhausted sailor struggling in Falmouth Bay.

At midnight Falmouth Coastguard requested that the lifeboat launch to assist the 30ft yacht Pilgrim as its engine was not working and its sole occupant was exhausted.

A spokesman said: "The 30ft steel yacht had been on a single handed passage from Harwich to Cork. Having stopped over at Newhaven the yacht had been at sea for eight days so the skipper was fatigued and had expressed his concerns to the Coastguards about entering the harbour without a working engine so the lifeboat was tasked to assist him into harbour.

The All Weather Lifeboat left its pontoon berth at midnight and headed out into Falmouth Bay to the initial position given, which was a mile south of Pendennis Point.

Using the lifeboat's VHF direction finding equipment the yacht was located two miles southeast of Pendennis Point 20 minutes past midnight.

Two lifeboat crew were transferred to the yacht to help prepare for the tow. The yacht was taken under tow ten minutes later and headed back into Falmouth where it was safely placed alongside the Port Pendennis Marina at 1.14am.

The lifeboat was back alongside its pontoon berth by 1.30am  and was refuelled and ready for service by 1.45am.

Crew: Mark Pollard (Coxswain), John Blakeston, Carl Beardmore, Dave Nicoll, Luke Wills, Sam Hall, Derren Plaister. Location: Two miles Southeast of Pendennis Point. Weather: N 3, Slight Sea and No Swell, Very Good Visibility, Clear Sky