A RESCUE operation was launched after a yacht caught fire in the River Itchen.

Lifeboat crews from Lymington and Calshot were called out at 1.40am after a fire broke out in the engine room of a 40ft yacht off the Weston Shelf.

The owner of the vessel was the only person on board and managed to extinguish the fire.

He was assisted by the lifeboat crews who were able to board and check the engine over.

The yacht was then taken to Ocean Village and put on a mooring.

A spokeswoman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said no-one was injured in the incident and the crews left at 4.30am.