Falmouth's two lifeboats braved rough seas off the Lizard peninsula to save a lone yachtsman who was drifting onto the Manacles rocks on Friday morning.

The volunteer crewmembers were called by the coastguard at around 7am, following a mayday call from the yacht Defiance, which had been sailing sailing from France to Falmouth.

The sailor, who was near exhaustion following several days spent at sea, had got into trouble after his engine failed, and his sails were ripped and torn.

The inshore lifeboat set off first, in poor visibility and a gusting force eight easterly wind.

An RNLI spokesperson said: "Finding the 23ft vessel proved to be a little difficult. The lifeboat crew eventually found her after a short search, close to the infamous Manacles and drifting toward them.

"A tow was set up and the lifeboat managed to pull the yacht away from danger."

The crew waited a short while for the all weather lifeboat to arrive, and at 9.15am the tow line was passed to the bigger boat to start the journey back to Falmouth, while the smaller lifeboat provided safety cover and transferred food to the yacht.

The boats arrived back at Falmouth harbour by 11.30am, and the inshore lifeboat took over the tow once more, before the yacht was secured to a berth in Pendennis Marina.