A DISMASTED yacht was helped in the early hours when Yarmouth RNLI's volunteers responded to a 3.21am Mayday call.

Yarmouth’s Severn class all-weather lifeboat, Eric and Susan Hiscock (Wanderer), was tasked by HM Coastguard this morning (Thursday).

The crew headed west out of the Solent to a 24ft yacht in distress, approximately six miles south west of St Catherine’s Point, near Niton.

In the rough and challenging conditions of a Force 6 westerly wind, two RNLI crew members were put on board the dismasted boat to assess the situation.

The three people on board the yacht were unharmed.

Before establishing a tow line, the two crew made secure the broken mast and rigging in preparation for the journey back to Yarmouth in moderate to rough conditions.

On the approach into Yarmouth Harbour, the tow line was released and the casualty vessel made its way into the harbour using its own engine, assisted by the RNLI.

Yarmouth lifeboat returned to her berth and was ready for service by 7.55am.