A LIFEBOAT crew rescued a boat in difficulties off the Purbeck coast in the early hours.

Swanage RNLI's lifeboat was called out shortly after 2am on Wednesday, April 28, to assist the 30 foot yacht which had engine problems out at sea off St Albans Head.

With very little wind the yacht's skipper was reportedly struggling against the strong tide.

The all-weather lifeboat launched and went alongside the vessel before two crew members went aboard.

Following a discussion with the skipper, it was decided to tow the yacht to Weymouth with the tide.

As they approached Weymouth Harbour an inshore lifeboat came out to take over the tow.

The crew of volunteers arrived back at the slipway in Swanage at 5.24am.