VOLUNTEER crew of Swanage all-weather Shannon lifeboat were called to assist a yacht after it suffered engine failure en route to Poole from the Channel Islands.

The 18 metre ketch, called Dark Island, had sailed for the Dorset port from the island of Alderney.

An RNLI spokesman said: "The yacht was in no immediate danger and was proceeding under sail, but the size of the vessel and the direction and strength of the wind was going to make it very difficult for the four crew to get the boat safely into their destination."

The Swanage RNLI lifeboat was launched into a stiff breeze and choppy seas just after 3.20pm on Saturday.

After pulling alongside the yacht, around five nautical miles south west of Peveril Point, the RNLI crew escorted it back to the safety of Poole's Swash Channel, where a lifeboat crew was placed on board and a two established for the remainder of the journey to Poole marina.