A VOLUNTEER crew from the RNLI’s Barrow Lifeboat Station launched their all-weather lifeboat early Tuesday morning to assist a yacht off the south end of Walney Island.

Crew pagers were activated at 1.10am on Tuesday following a request for assistance from the regional HM Coastguard base in Holyhead.

A spokesman for Barrow RNLI said: "The information received was that a 30-foot yacht on passage from Whitehaven to Barrow with one person on board had run out of fuel and was aground off Hilpsford Point, south west of Walney Lighthouse.

"The Barrow all-weather lifeboat, ‘Grace Dixon’, was launched at 1.45am under the command of Coxswain Shaun Charnley and four crew.

"Low tide had occurred just after midnight which meant that the lifeboat had to stand by until there was sufficient water depth available before it could approach the casualty vessel.

"It wasn’t until 3.30am that the yacht was able to be taken under tow and secured to a mooring off Roa Island. With the casualty safe, the lifeboat was then requested to assist a 32-foot yacht, with two people on board, that was dragging its anchor in the fresh easterly breeze off Piel Island. The ‘Grace Dixon’ proceeded across Walney Channel where it was able to take the yacht under tow and secure it to a safe mooring close to the Island."

The lifeboat then returned to the boathouse at 5.30am where it was rehoused and made ready for the next launch.