LIFEBOAT crews were called into action after a vessel had run into difficulties in the water.

Clacton RNLI volunteers were paged last Saturday at about 1.20pm after reports of a 37ft vessel that had run into difficulties around the Gunfleet Sands area.

The volunteer crew launched the in-shore lifeboat ‘David Porter MPS’ into clear and sunny conditions.

Lifeboat crews from Walton and Frinton also responded to the mayday call.

The Clacton crew arrived first on the scene, and immediately transferred two of the volunteer crew onto the vessel and performed welfare checks on the three people that were on board.

They were additionally accompanied by two family dogs.

A spokesman for Clacton RNLI said: "After some investigation, it was found that the vessel had not run aground, as first reported but when entering the waters around Gunfleet Sands, enroute from Ipswich to Chatham in Kent, the vessel encountered very rough sea conditions, causing the vessels’ crew to become nervous about their situation.

"The casualties made the decision to return to Harwich, and with the assistance of the Walton and Frinton RNLI crew who placed a crew member aboard the yacht to establish a tow line and a course was set for Harwich.

"Both Clacton crew members were transferred back to the lifeboat and the crew were stood down and returned to the station."

The lifeboat was cleaned, refuelled and placed back on service around 3.30pm