THREE fishermen were rescued by a New Brighton lifeboat crew after their boat’s engine failed near Leasowe shore on Sunday night.

The Atlantic 85 lifeboat B-870 John & Louisa Fisher was launched at around 11pm, following reports that a small vessel was in difficulty near the Gunsight picnic spot.

After making its way through choppy conditions, the crew located the small 17ft fishing vessel with three people on board.

It was towed back to New Brighton with the intention of mooring the vessel on a buoy there. But on the journey back, it slowly took on water through a hole in the stern.

The RNLI decided to tow it into shallower water and with the aid of an awaiting beach crew managed to recover it onto its trailer.

At New Brighton the tide was in, with waves hitting what little remained of the beach causing the vessel to lurch "in an unpredictable fashion".

The boat was eventually brought to shore in the early hours of Monday morning.

New Brighton operations manager Graham Sale said “Both our lifeboat crew and those doing the recovery on the beach did a magnificent job in very trying conditions and late in the day.

“We would stress the need for anyone going to sea and likely to be out for a while to contact the coastguard with details of their trip.

“In addition VHF radio, flares plus an auxiliary engine can make all the difference - and lifejackets worn at all times."