Ilfracombe’s all-weather lifeboat rescued an exhausted father and son from a yacht struggling off Lynmouth in near gale force conditions.

The lifeboat was just being recovered from the beach at 4.30pm following a display for the annual Round Table Birdman on Saturday when the alarm sounded.

They were called to reports of the yacht Selena B struggling in the strong winds and heavy squally showers.

Arriving at the scene, volunteer crew member Andy Day was transferred aboard the yacht, where the two exhausted sailors were cold, wet and suffering the effects of seasickness.

The lifeboat towed the yacht the 13 miles back to Ilfracombe harbour, where her crew were given warm drinks at the station until they could be collected.

Andrew Bengey, volunteer RNLI coxswain at Ilfracombe, said: “This was an unfortunate situation for the yacht’s crew to find themselves in.

“The weather we experienced on Saturday meant that they just got caught out in the bad conditions.

“When sailing, always wear an appropriate lifejacket and always carry a means of calling and signalling for help.”