Salcombe, Torbay and Dart RNLI lifeboat volunteers were at sea overnight between July 8 and 9 in challenging conditions to help in a search for a 32ft yacht with a lone sailor aboard reported to be in difficulty.

The conditions were very difficult for RNLI volunteers with a three metre swell, strong winds and rough seas.

Salcombe and Torbay volunteers aboard their all-weather lifeboats launched at around 11pm, and following an extensive search, located the vessel south west of Start Point at around 12.30am.

With concern for the welfare of the lone skipper who was aboard and not responding to communications, a decision was taken to establish a towline and tow the vessel to the nearest safest harbour at Dartmouth.

Torbay RNLI lifeboat towed the vessel while Salcombe all-weather lifeboat shadowed both vessels for the duration of the tow.

Dart RNLI volunteers were paged at around 4am to assist, and on entry to Dartmouth harbour, the tow was transferred to the Dart RNLI Atlantic class lifeboat.

A volunteer crew member from Dart RNLI was transferred on to the casualty vessel, and the yacht was brought alongside Dartmouth Town Quay. The casualty was handed over into the care of the local Coastguard Rescue Team for further assessment.

Salcombe and Torbay lifeboat volunteers returned to station at around 5.30am, all very tired after more than six hours at sea in darkness and challenging conditions.

The lifeboats were refuelled and made ready for service at around 6am.