A HAMPSHIRE lifeboat rescued a sailor who was stranded aboard an inflatable dinghy that had run out of fuel.

The Lymington-based RNLI crew were called out to Keyhaven just after 11.30pm yesterday.

A spokesperson said: "The lifeboat was able to quickly locate the 2.8m inflatable dinghy which had run out of fuel.

"The person onboard was able to direct the lifeboat to the boat by using their mobile phone as a torch."

A crewmember entered the water and made their way to the dinghy, establishing that the sailor was unhurt before attaching a tow line.

"The casualty, who was suffering a little from the cold, was transferred into the lifeboat.

"The lifeboat towed the dinghy back to Keyhaven, where the casualty was placed in the care of the coastguard team."

Lifeboat helmsman Simon Nuding added: "It is really important you plan for your passage, weather conditions and ensure that someone is aware of your movements.

"The person absolutely did the right thing and call the coastguard for help."