Their troubles began when their boat Trinity, an 18ft Shetland class, had gone aground on a sandbank near the entrance to Beaulieu River. Although it refloated on a rising tide the men then found they were unable to get underway because of mud in the engine.
They dropped their anchor and used a mobile phone to seek help through Solent Coastguard. After launching shortly before midnight the lifeboat carried out a search of the area; this finally proved successful through a combination of a white flare from the lifeboat and Trinity’s crew waving a torch.
Then began a slow tow against the tide to off Calshot lifeboat station, where the cabin-cruiser was secured to a buoy and the crew, believed to be from Fawley, taken ashore.
The lifeboat returned to station just after 02:00.