The yacht was pulled to safety outside Portsmouth Harbour by the volunteers with the Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS)

It took several attempts for the crew of the Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS) to pull free a yacht that had run aground outside Portsmouth Harbour.

The 11-metre yacht became stuck on Hamilton Bank just outside the entrance to the harbour.

The volunteer crew of GAFIRS was paged by UK Coastguard at around 1630 on 27 January, 2017, to assist the lone yachtsman on board.

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The yacht was described as “perilously close” to Haslar Sea Wall, and the lifeboat was soon alongside the vessel.

A towline was quickly attached to the yacht to ease the pressure from the breaking waves, and secure the vessel from hitting the shore.

Commenting on the rescue, GAFIRS coxswain Brain Pack said: “When we arrived at the scene the vessel was stuck fast on Hamilton Bank just outside the harbour.”

“We attached a tow line to the vessel and held it steady so it wasn’t uncomfortable in the breaking waves, and slowly tried to pull him free as the tide rose,” he continued.

However, it was not an easy rescue for the lifeboat crew.

“Unfortunately, due to the difficult conditions and the weight of the yacht the line the vessel had attached snapped and then our tow line was shorn on a sharp edge on the bow of the vessel,” explained Pack.

“Luckily my crew acted swiftly on both occasions and we managed to secure the casualty vessel again and eventually tow it free of the bank and into deeper water,” he added.

After ascertaining the yacht had sustained no damage it was able to continue on its passage back to its home port in Cowes, Isle of Wight.

The rescue was GAFIRS’ fourth of the year.

Last year, the independent lifeboat station, based at Stokes Bay, Gosport, attended 112 incidents.