BEMBRIDGE lifeboat was launched this afternoon (Sunday, December 11) to assist a 23m, 100+ ton fishing boat following an urgent call for help.

At 10.30am, HM Coastguard was made aware that the fishing vessel was suffering engine issues approximately five miles southeast of St Catherine’s Lighthouse.

'Attempts to arrange a commercial tow had apparently been unsuccessful', said Bembridge RNLI, and the vessel was eventually towed, very slowly, by Ventnor fishing boat, Ventura.

Lifeboat crews were sent to assist at 2.10pm, northwest of Bembridge Lifeboat Station.

After assessing the situation, and given that there was a full catch onboard, the vessel was going to be towed into Portsmouth.

However, after discussion between the King's Harbour Master in Portsmouth and Coastguard, the decision was made to anchor her off Stokes Bay instead.

One of the three fishing boat crew was brought onboard the lifeboat after feeling unwell, before returning to Bembridge.