EMERGENCY services rushed to Combwich after a 30ft yacht ran aground with five people on board.

Burnham-on-Sea RNLI and Burnham Coastguard were called to the yacht on the River Parrett at Combwich at 11.11am on Monday (August 5) after the boat got caught on a sandbank.

The RNLI launched the Atlantic 85 life and the Doris Day and Brian lifeboat and when they arrived at the scene they arranged a tow and pulled the yacht clear.

The 30ft vessel was then able to continue on its journey under its own power.

Atlantic Helmsman Nick Prout said: "We reached the yacht, and with aid of a tow rope pulled it clear.

"The owner is an experienced yachtsman, so we shepherded him half way home and left him to independently return to the yacht’s berth in the River Brue. We were glad to help."

Burnham Coastguard were also at the scene and kept watch on the incident and provided communications via radio as the area the vessel was stranded in was known to be a signal blackspot.

A spokesman for Burnham Coastguard, said: "Our coastline is constantly changing and sand/mud banks are always on the move which means they can't be charted accurately on maps.

"It is easy to fall victim to these shifting banks along the rivers as the depth of the water will drop dramatically before you are able to manoeuvre away from them.

"It was the right decision to contact the Coastguards and ask for assistance early as this meant that the help was there quickly before it became even more stranded.

"The difference between calling straight away instead of waiting a while because you may feel embarrassed is huge, the water drops fast and it isn't coming back for a good 12 hours, makes perfect sense to call it in.

"Even the most experienced boat users can get caught out by the shifting sand. A good job by the lifeboat crew who were there quickly and dealt with it immediately freeing it."

If you have a coastal emergency call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.