Appledore’s lifeboat has saved a yacht that was mere feet away from wrecking on the harsh rocks of Lundy Island.

The all-weather lifeboat crew were called out in the early hours of yesterday (Thursday) morning after a yacht had called the coastguard to say their anchor was dragging and they were drifting in the dark towards the rocks.

That was the last radio contact from the vessel and the Mollie Hunt lifeboat sped across to the island in only 50 minutes.

They found the yacht, with a father, son and dog on board, a scant six feet away from crashing into the Sentinel rocks between Rat Island and the main island, in shallow water of less than a metre.

A tow was quickly set up and the vessel towed to deeper water – it appeared its propeller had been damaged by the rocks and it was towed back to Appledore.

They had to wait for the tide at the Bar and finally reached safe harbour at 11am, six hours after the shout began.

An RNLI spokesman said: “Due to the speed of response and the skill and training of the crew, both the yacht and its crew were safe.

“The yacht had only recently been purchased and was on passage to its new home on the south coast.

“Lengthy night time shouts such as these highlight the dedication not only of the crew, but their families too, who are awoken when their pagers sound.”