A “GOOD Samaritan” vessel found itself pinned against the Sandbanks chain ferry when trying to help passengers off the broken-down boat.

The Sandbanks ferry had broken down earlier in the afternoon on Wednesday.

With passengers still on-board, a local, experienced skipper, offered to help take them off.

He laid his boat alongside the chain ferry to help take the passengers off with conditions in the harbour clear and calm, with a south westerly force-one breeze, however there was a strong ebb tide when the lifeboat arrived.

The vessel had managed to get smoothly onside, and passengers began to disembark when the chain ferry had managed to overcome its problem and it was decided that the passengers should return and resume their journey.

As this was happening the tide turned and the good Samaritan vessel found itself pinned against the chain ferry.

The Poole and Swanage lifeboat teams were tasked by the UK Coastguard to the scene, with concerns for the passengers of board and the risk of the vessel taking on water.

Poole Lifeboat arrived on scene and found that there were three people on-board the stricken vessel, who were the skipper and crew and they were safe and not in any imminent danger at that time.

Swanage lifeboat arrived on scene and it was decided that Poole lifeboat volunteers transferred a crew member safely onto the ferry, who then in turn got onto the casualty vessel to communicate with the people on-board.

A towline was passed by Swanage lifeboat and they pulled the vessel clear, into safer water.

After a check to see that the vessel was okay, they signalled that they were happy to continue the passage back to Poole.

Both lifeboats returned to the station, however, the Sandbanks ferry confirmed it remained suspended, with an update due at 12pm on Thursday.

Poole lifeboat volunteer helm Dave Riley said: “It was just unfortunate today, conditions change so quickly, but all were safe and well.”

It comes less than a year after a 24ft yacht became entangled with the ferry.

In June last year, the 24ft “shrimper” became entangled with the ferry on the inside of the harbour entrance.

“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.