COASTGUARDS have asked well-meaning members of the public not to help re-float boats which get stranded after an incident on Swanage main beach on Monday.

A spokesman for the Swanage Coastguard said it had received a number of calls about a motor boat which broke free from its mooring and came aground half on and half off the Mowlem slipway.

"A number of members of public entered the water to try and help move it, but there was a degree of confusion and a risk of injuries to them such as crushed feet and so once the team arrived, it took control of the situation and asked the members of public to return the beach," said the spokesman.

"Some folks had tried to pull the boat further onto the beach, but our preference was to try and refloat it - a boat marooned on the main beach on the busiest week of the year would not be ideal with the security and pollution risks and the inevitable issues of moving it."

The RNLI was requested owing to the number of people in the sea and as safety cover for the coastguard team as it worked to re-float the boat.

The team thanked the public but issued this warning: "Please don't put yourself at risk. Some folks could have lost toes had the boat landed on them, and there's always the potential for slipping and being caught under the boat."