A Flushing boatyard has launched a new service that's already proving popular - and it could save the RNLI up to 20 per cent of its callouts. 

Falmouth Boat Co.'s 'respond and assist' service helps boat owners who have problems with their boats, but who are not in danger.

Members of the boatyard's staff aim to get to troubled vessels in a highly equipped rigid-inflatable boat in less than an hour from the initial call.

In the past ten days alone, the team have had eight call-outs.

The majority of these incidents have involved engine failure, leaving sailors stranded.

Managing director of Falmouth Boat Co., Jonathan Fielding, said: "If a boat is disabled but is not in an emergency situation, we can help.

"If we find it to be an emergency, we contact the coastguard - but if not, we make sure that the crew are safe and we arrange to carry out repairs as required."

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It's not just boat owners who are pleased with the new service.

Coxswain John Blakeston from Falmouth Lifeboat Station said: "We absolutely welcome the service.

"As a lifeboat station, we're here to save lives but we often get involved in jobs where no lives are at risk.

"This new service is of great help to us, it's all good news."

A spokesperson for the RNLI said: "Mechanical failure is the single biggest cause of rescue call outs to sailing and motor cruisers, accounting for nearly 20 per cent of all our lifeboat launches.

"Knowing your boat, carrying spares and being able to fit them could make the difference between having to call for help and being able to help yourself.

"In 2018, RNLI lifeboats were called to 1,322 incidents involving machinery failure."

The 'respond and assist' service is available from dawn until dusk, every day and there is an out of hours alert service.

Call-outs cost £50 but are free to Falmouth Haven clients. The service can be accessed by calling 01326 374309.