A FORTY foot yacht crashed into a sandbank in Southampton Water - sparking a two hour long rescue.

Lifeboat crews were called to help the yacht, with two people aboard, after it ran aground on Bramble Bank in strong winds.

RNLI’s Atlantic 85 rib Sheena Louise launched from Cowes around 1.50pm yesterday to help.

But it soon became apparent that the crew would have to wait for the tide to rise sufficiently for the yacht to float free.

During the wait, a larger and more powerful all-weather boat from Yarmouth was called to provide backup.

After a two hour wait, the boat regained full buoyancy and was carried out.

Initially the yacht was towed off the bank by Cowes lifeboat.

The task was taken over by the Yarmouth lifeboat, which delivered the yacht to Cowes Yacht Haven where its hull could be inspected for possible damage.