The cabin cruiser suffered engine failure and was drifting in the main shipping channel in The Solent when it was rescued

Engine failure left a 10-metre cabin cruiser dangerously drifting in the main shipping channel in The Solent.

Four people were on board the vessel when it suffered difficulties near to Horse Sand Fort.

The skipper contacted the UK Coastguard to ask for assistance.

Volunteers with the independent Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS) were paged and launched just after lunchtime on 21 March 2017.

Pictures: Three rescued from dismasted yacht in southern Indian Ocean

Commenting on the rescue, the Gosport independent lifeboat coxswain, Brian Pack, said: “We soon located the stricken vessel, which was drifting near much larger craft and placed a crewman on board.”

A boat being towed by an inshore lifeboat near Portsmouth

The cabin cruiser under tow. Credit: GAFIRS

“He discovered that the vessel had suffered a fuel leak which had caused it to lose power so we quickly rigged a towline and pulled the vessel to safety,” he explained.

GAFIRS towed the boat to Gosport Marina where it was placed safely alongside with the help of Hillhead Mobile Coastguard team.

Man saved from drifting out to sea in his dinghy

In total the operation lasted just over two hours and was the service’s 13th incident of the year.

GAFIRS is an independent lifeboat station based at Stokes Bay Gosport, run entirely by volunteers, on call to the Coastguard 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.