THE crew of a yacht left drifting after its engine failure on its way to Falmouth tried desperately to avoid calling the emergency services as they didn't want to bother anyone on Christmas Day.

Eventually, after trying everything they could and making no headway without wind the two people were eventually forced to call Falmouth Coastguard at around 10:15am on Christmas morning who authorised the launch of the Fowey lifeboat to assist the yacht not far from Cannis Rock.

The volunteer crew of the lifeboat the vessel a line and took it under tow into Fowey Harbour. The crew were then able to return to their families for Christmas dinner.

Crew member Paul Gamble: “They tried what they could as they did not want to call anyone on Christmas Day.”

A report from Fowey RNLI said: "At 10:15 on Christmas morning, Fowey RNLI’s volunteer crew were paged to assist a yacht with engine failure not far from Cannis Rock.

"The casualty vessel had been on passage from Falmouth since yesterday, and had recently lost power with two persons on board. Without wind, they were making little headway. Fowey’s all-weather lifeboat was launched to the scene, and the yacht was quickly taken under tow and towed into Fowey Harbour.

"While they had made attempts to make headway on their own, ultimately the lifeboat was needed.

"The RNLI is on call seven days a week, all year round. Our volunteer crew returned to station and to their families for Christmas, and the all-weather lifeboat is now back on service.

"Having a means of calling for help while afloat is essential to safety on or near the water, no matter what day of the year. Merry Christmas to all from Fowey RNLI, and when going afloat, always wear a life jacket and have a means of contacting others at hand."