Footballer James Beattie rescued the two children and their mother from the yacht after it collided with a ferry at Poole Harbour in Dorset. Watch it here

This is the moment that former England footballer James Beattie went to the aid of two young children and their mother after their yacht collided with a ferry.

The 38-year-old, who is a first team coach for Leeds United, leapt over a barrier of a chain ferry, along with several other passengers, to rescue those on board.

The incident happened at Poole Harbour in Dorset on Sunday (23 April).

The 25-foot yacht is believed to have collided with the Sandbanks to Studland chain ferry.

Men rescue children from a stricken yacht

James Beattie (in a black top and jeans) is seen helping one of the children. Credit: You Tube

It is reported that the yacht got its lines caught up in the workings of the ferry.

Once the woman and her two small children were rescued from the yacht, a passing boat threw a line to the skipper and the vessel was towed clear.

Men help rescue people from a stricken yacht

The second child is rescued. Credit: You Tube

Beattie, who has won five England caps and has previously played for Southampton, Rangers, Everton and Sheffield United, later said he had “acted on instinct”.

Continued below…

His heroics were witnessed by Twitter user Ashley Grant who tweeted to Beattie: “Hats off to you mate, I was on the red boat. Did well to get the kids off…top stuff.”

A tweet between Michael Beattie and Ashley Grant

“Acted on instinct while too many get their phones out to video! Crazy!”

The Leeds coach replied: ‘Current too strong for that little yacht. Glad the family are OK. Acted on instinct while too many people get their phones out to video. Crazy!’