Cowes Lifeboat. By Nick Edwards

A crew member at Cowes Week ended up crashing into the sea when he tried climbing a mast to free a sail which had become tangled.

Five people were on board the yacht when a call was made to Cowes RNLI.

The spinnaker-tangling happened in the area of Ryde Middle bank.

It appeared the yacht had tipped flat onto the sea when a crew member climbed the mast to try to free the recalcitrant sail, resulting in him crashing into the water.

Cowes lifeboat was tasked around 2pm yesterday (Thursday) by coastguards to assist the independent Gosport lifeboat, already on the scene.

With one of a crew member needing medical attention, the now re-righted craft was eventually towed to Shepards Marina in Cowes, by a Cowes Week committee boat.

The yacht was met by Isle of Wight coastguards and ambulance crews.

The same yacht also needed help in last year’s Cowes Week, when it lost its rudder.