The yacht lost power around two miles south of Beachy Head and had to be rescued by the Eastbourne RNLI

The 30 foot yacht was returning to Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne with two people on board when it suffered engine failure on the afternoon of 21 April.

Unable to sail against the wind and tide, rapidly going backwards and with no electrical power to radio for help, the skipper had to resort to calling for help via a mobile phone.

A spokesman for Eastbourne RNLI said: “Fortunately there was a mobile signal and eventually HM Coastguard was alerted who requested Eastbourne RNLI to respond. Leaving Sovereign Harbour at low tide, the lifeboat with its volunteer crew set out to rendezvous with the yacht some two miles south of Beachy Head.”

Once on the scene, the crew assisted the skipper by attaching a line to the yacht before it was slowly towed back to Sovereign Harbour. When there was sufficient water under the yacht’s keel, it was then taken into the safety of the marina locks.

The emergency call-out came hours after the Eastbourne all-weather lifeboat, Diamond Jubilee had undergone its routine inspection and maintenance.

The vessel was lifted out of the water before the crew and supporters turned up in overalls ready to help with the cleaning. Armed with wire brushes and paint rollers, they set to work removing marine growth and renewing the antifouling. It was then craned back into the water.