TWO people were left shaken after their yacht became entangled with the Sandbanks chain ferry.

Both Poole lifeboats and the Coastguard were scrambled on Sunday afternoon after a report that a yacht was pinned against the ferry.

The RNLI said the yacht, described as a 24ft shrimper, had become entangled with the ferry on the inside of the harbour entrance as the ferry was heading towards Sandbanks.

“Conditions in the harbour were choppy with a strong ebb tide and a fresh south westerly wind. The combination of the tide and the wind really hampered any chance of the vessel getting free,” the RNLI said.

When the lifeboat Atlantic was launched, one occupant of the yacht had been taken aboard the ferry but another was accounted for.

But by the time the Atlantic arrived on the scene, both occupants were confirmed safely aboard the ferry.

“The vessel was hung up on the side of the ferry, with the staves of the mast snagged onto the ramp, with the tide pushing it against the prow," an RNLI spokeswoman said.

"The lifeboat approached to have a closer look to assess the situation as to make sure that all the people were accounted for and not on the vessel."

The ferry was held up as the lifeboat crew recovered the vessel.

They used a tow line to pull the yacht clear.

“The tide was screaming as the lifeboat pulled the vessel free and towed it back to the steps at North Haven,” the spokeswoman said.

“Meanwhile, the chain ferry resumed back to the Sandbanks side and the D Class crew went to check that the people were okay. A member of the lifeboat crew went ashore and met the ferry as it came in. The people were okay after the incident, but a little shaken up.

“The Atlantic prepared to tow the vessel back to its mooring. The crew checked the vessel was seaworthy. It seemed unscathed bar a bit of superficial damage.

“They took the vessel back to its mooring just off Brownsea Castle, where the crew secured it and the casualties were happy to make their own way back via their tender.”

HM Coastguard said its Swanage and Poole rescue teams went to the scene after being “alerted to a collision and reports that a small boat was stuck under the prow of the Sandbanks chain ferry”.

“At the time of the incident the tide was going out and currents in the harbour mouth location are typically very strong,” the Coastguard said.

“It is unclear how the yacht became entangled with the ferry this afternoon and a report has been made to the Maritime Accident Investigation Branch.”