TWO boats collided in rough weather last night.

Falmouth Coastguard Operations Centre dispatched the all-weather Penlee Lifeboat at 9.50pm after a fishing vessel got into trouble.

Reports had been received that a 55ft local boat, with four people on board, required immediate assistance in poor weather conditions in Mount’s Bay.

The fishing vessel had fouled its propeller while hauling in a large Seine net.

It was unable to manoeuvre due to the strong south easterly winds and had drifted towards, and then collided with, the Trinity House vessel ‘MV Galatea’, which was anchored south of Penzance.

The large Seine net then got tangled in the MV Galatea’s propellers.

Penlee Lifeboat Ivan Ellen was launched and arrived on the scene at 10.05pm.

A spokesman for Penlee Lifeboat said: "After a quick assessment it was decided to try to get a rope on the fishing vessel to prevent any further collision with the MV Galatea – with the large Seine net still in the sea there was a real danger that the lifeboat would also get her propellers fouled.

"Using the Ivan Ellen’s large spotlights to keep clear of the net, the lifeboat crew managed to connect a rope to the fishing vessel. The net was cut away and the fishing vessel was towed to safety and slowly back towards Newlyn.

"Due to the force 6-7 SE wind and rough sea towing a vessel in through the gaps at low tide can be risky due to the large waves breaking across the gaps.

"However, the Ivan Ellen towed the fishing vessel into the harbour without any problems, towing it through the gaps to a berth at Newlyn Fish Market."

The Ivan Ellen lifeboat returned to station at 11.30pm, where she was refuelled and made ready for her next service.

Both vessels were expected to have divers down this morning to cut away the Seine net that fouled their propellers.

The RNLI crew was Patch Harvey, coxswain, Craig Neal, mechanic, David Pascoe, Ben Keogh, Will Treneer, James Roberts and Richard Nicholls.