SWANAGE Coastguard are urging yachtsmen and women to join its voluntary boat registration scheme, after a 'ghost yacht' was discovered on the sands at Mowlem.

After reports came in of the washed-up vessel on Monday, two coastguards kitted up in water rescue responder suits, and, protected by the rest of the team acting as spotters and armed with throwlines, the pair walked out to the yacht, to check there was no-one in difficulty.

Having confirmed there was no-one on board, the team checked for any damage or resulting pollution and then tried to find the yacht's owner.

A note and phone number on the cabin door led coastguards to a local person who was able to contact the owner, who attended.

Swanage Coastguard said: "It was evident that the yacht had dragged its mooring from the sailing club area and had blown ashore in the strong Easterly wind."

The coastguard recommends owners join its voluntary boat registration scheme whereby they can their register details and, when a boat ends up in situations similar to the Swanage one, it's easier for the Coastguard Operations Rooms to identify and contact them.

"Regular sailors may know it as the CG66 scheme, although these days the register is run in conjunction with the RYA and is called RYA SafeTrx," said the coastguard.

*Register at.gov.uk/register-boat-coastguard-safety-scheme