A DRIFTING yacht which had broken free from its mooring in Barrow was found "miraculously undamaged" 30 miles away in Liverpool Bay.

Hoylake RNLI was tasked by the Coastguard on Wednesday to reports of a vessel adrift in Liverpool Bay. The vessel was spotted in the dark by a passing ship at the mouth of the River Mersey.

The crew was paged at 4.31am and the lifeboat Edmund Hawthorn Micklewood launched. The yacht was found to be unmanned.

The Coastguard advised the yacht had gone missing from Barrow the previous day and had drifted for over 30 miles, miraculously without being damaged.

The yacht was secured and the Coastguard informed its owner it was safely berthed.

Hoylake RNLI lifeboat Coxswain Andy Dodd said: "Boat moorings can sometimes break in the winter months when the weather is poor. It's important that boat owners check their moorings regularly and inform the Coastguard in the event that their vessel goes missing.

"Fortunately in this case the yacht was registered and as it had been reported missing, the Coastguard were able to quickly determine that there was no immediate risk to life and inform the owner that the boat was safe.'

"A drifting yacht in a busy commercial channel presents a significant risk to marine traffic so it was vital to secure the vessel quickly. We were pleased that we could return the yacht safely to its owner."