RESCUE services were called out to help a 68-foot sailing yacht with a buoy tangled around its rudder at Lulworth Cove.

Weymouth RNLI lifeboat and Portland Coastguard received a report of a vessel with steering problems a couple of miles south of Lulworth Cove at 9.40am today.

The Qingdao, with nine people on board, was towed to Weymouth Harbour and met by coastguard officers.

Ken Francis, of Weymouth RNLI, said: “Weymouth lifeboat was launched to the aid of the sail training clipper with nine people on board which was reported to be a couple of miles south of Lulworth Cove with a fishing pot marker tangled around its propeller.

“The lifeboat arrived on scene to find the yacht making poor headway in the 29mph gusting 46mph winds so decided to attach a tow line and bring her back to Weymouth.

“On arrival back at Weymouth Harbour after an hour and a half tow the yacht was met at the berth by the Wyke Coastguard who helped with the mooring lines.”

A spokesman for Portland Coastguard said: “We were called at 9.40am to assist a sailing vessel the Qingdao, a 68-foot sailing sloop that had steerage problems.

“The lifeboat was launched to assist and brought the vessel into Weymouth Harbour, where it was met by Wyke Regis coastguard officers.

“A couple of divers were sent down to look for the problem and found a pot buoy and rope that were stuck around the rudder.

“They cleared the rudder and the vessel spent several hours at the harbour before setting off.”