Two boat owners were rescued after their yacht broke down close to a world famous pier.

Southend lifeboat crews rushed out at midday today to help a couple whose boat broke down near Southend pier.

Southend’s volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew launched the Atlantic 85 from the pierhead boathouse at 12.15pm to rescue a 22ft yacht, about a quarter of a mile west of the pier and a quarter of a mile offshore.

The craft, with 2 adults on board, had left its mooring off Thames Estuary Y.C. to motor to Shoebury where it was to be lifted out of the water for winter storage.

The outboard motor failed soon into the journey and the crew anchored the vessel while attempts were made, unsuccessfully, to restart the engine.

On scene, the lifeboat crew took the vessel in tow and secured it on a mooring off the yacht club.

The dinghy which had been used to board the yacht was taken to the slipway and, due to the sea conditions, the sailors then taken on board the lifeboat and landed safely on a nearby sheltered beach.

Southend lifeboat then returned to station to refuel and wash down before the crew made their way back to the shore and home for a delayed Sunday lunch.a