COWES RNLI Lifeboat was launched today — to the aid of a small yacht aground in Wootton Creek.

The 20ft yacht, with two men, a woman and a dog aboard, had gone aground on a sandbank in a falling tide.

The lifeboat managed tow the yacht into clear water.

With two of the yacht crew having transferred to the lifeboat, the yacht then made its own way under power up the creek to The Sloop, with a lifeboat crew member aboard.

The call-out, just before 2pm, involved two female firsts for the station.

It was the first time Anne Simkin had taken charge of an emergency call-out after recently qualifying as a deputy launch authority, and it was the first time Penny Jeffcoate had gone out on a shout after being accepted as a boat crew trainee.

Anne has been a member of the lifeboat crew for more than three years.