Three people were rescued by Penleee lifeboat yesterday after their 30ft yacht ran aground in the entrance to Penzance harbour.
The volunteers of the Penlee RNLI inshore lifeboat faced a six metre swell and a southerly gale as they attempted to rescue a yacht crew.
Despite the prevailing conditions and one engine stopping, the lifeboat team managed to get a tow rope on to the stricken vessel and eventually pull it to safety.
The yacht was leaving Penzance bound for Weston-super-Mare but when one of them became very seasick they headed back towards the port. with a huge swell running in to the harbour the yacht went aground as they made their approach and rolled on to her side.
The RNLI volunteers managed to get a rope on to the bow of the yacht despite the lifeboat being swamped by the massive seas several times.
At one stage they lost power to one of the outboard engines, but fortunately managed to restart it within 15 minutes.
Patch Harvey, RNLI Coxswain at Penlee, praised the work of the volunteer crew: "Despite loosing an engine and getting swamped time and time again the three lifeboat crew managed to keep hold of the yacht until just after low water when she began to float and they were able to pull her away and tow her out to the all-weather lifeboat.
"They then took the boat to Newlyn where using both lifeboats, we managed to steer the yacht through the narrow entrance and on to a safe berth.
"I would remind people to listen carefully to the weather forecast before setting out. Today there are warnings of southerly force eight winds that are likely to increase and there’s already a rough sea in the bay.
"I’d like to keep the lifeboat safety moored up at times like this and hope other sea goers feel the same way."