A stricken yacht had to be towed back the Helford Passage by The Lizard lifeboat after it was de-masted in poor sea conditions - in a rescue that took seven hours.

The crew of the lifeboat were out at sea for over seven hours after the first Mayday call came into Falmouth Coastguard at around ten to ten on Saturday morning (September 30).

Falmouth Packet: the smaller Y-boat was launched with two lifeboat crew members on boardthe smaller Y-boat was launched with two lifeboat crew members on board (Image: Terry Thirlaway/RNLI)

The 26-foot trimaran two nautical miles south of Lizard Point with two people on board had been de-masted and was unable to manoeuvre.

Falmouth Coastguard told the lifeboat crew that due to the severity of the damaged masts communication with the yacht could be broken or very weak as their radio aerial may be near to the surface of the water.

Falmouth Packet: The Lizard Lifeboat approaches the de-masted yachtThe Lizard Lifeboat approaches the de-masted yacht (Image: Terry Thirlaway)

When they arrived at five minutes past ten the situation was assessed and the smaller Y-boat was launched with two lifeboat crew members on board, one of whom was put on to the struggling yacht to help in cut away the tangled and partially submerged rigging.

Once the yacht was in a position to be moved, the decision was taken to attach a tow line and under the command of Coxswain Dan Atkinson the slow journey into Falmouth began at 10:53am.

Falmouth Packet: The yacht under towThe yacht under tow (Image: Lizard RNLI & Terry Thirlaway)

Sea conditions at the scene and during the towing of the vessel were described as poor.

One lifeboat crew member stayed on board the trimaran and at some point in the tow it was decided to take the vessel into the Helford rather than carry on with the journey where it was safely secured on a mooring.

After seven hours at sea, RNLB Rose and her crew arrived back at the station at Kilcobben Cove shortly after 5pm where the lifeboat was made ready for service again when required.