A HAMPSHIRE lifeboat rescued four people stranded aboard a boat which ran aground on marshes.

Lymington's RNLI lifeboat went to the aid of a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) which was marooned east of Lymington River.

An RNLI spokesman described the conditions as "extremely challenging".

He said: "The lifeboat came out of the river and headed east, taking heavy weather against an ebbing tide in full flow.

"The RNLI volunteers were able to locate the stranded vessel by its navigation lights in the location given by the coastguard.

"The lifeboat made a couple of runs to establish a safe passage and assess the situation.

"Two crew members were dropped off on the edge of the marsh and supported each casualty one at a time to the lifeboat.

"Given the state of the sea and the tide conditions it was unsafe to recover the vessel at the time.

The lifeboat proceeded back to the harbourmaster's pontoon, where the casualties were transferred into the care of the ambulance service.

Senior helm Kevin Coster said the crew's work was exceptional under challenging conditions and the boat's performance was impressive.

The rescue took place in the early hours of Sunday but details have only just been released.