A yacht and its crew had to be rescued after becoming stranded off the coast.

The 12-metre Dutch yacht was part of a 34-strong flotilla that had sailed from Ijmuiden in the Netherlands on Thursday, bound for Lowestoft.

The yacht's engine failed shortly after 1am on Friday off the Suffolk coast and despite the efforts of the four crew members to restart, it they were unsuccessful.

The volunteer Lowestoft lifeboat crew launched to bring them to shore at 1.45am after the sailors contacted the coastguard asking for help.

Lowestoft Lifeboat Coxswain John Fox said, “We soon reached the vessel in the dark and found it stranded one mile to the south of the town in the Stanford Channel near the South Holm Buoy.

“When the yacht’s battery failed, they couldn’t start the engine and so we passed them a line and towed them back to the harbour.”

The yacht was brought to safety into the marina at 2.45am.