AN RNLI lifeboat was called out to assist a motor cruiser broken-down near an offshore platform in the North Sea.

Harwich RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was launched following reports the cruiser was about 13 kilometres from the Essex Coast on Saturday at 7.10pm.

The boat was reported to be close to the Roughs Tower, which is a disused Maunsell Sea Fort, originally called HM Fort Roughs, built as an anti-aircraft gun platform by the British during the Second World War.

It was feared that with the tide receding, the boat would be taken across the main channel used by large commercial vessels, potentially putting it at significant risk.

On arrival a tow line was passed to the motor cruiser and with the tow secure, the lifeboat turned to head for Harwich Harbour.

Nearly an hour after sunset and three hours since the pagers were activated, the boat was put safely alongside the Shotley Marina, which is in Suffolk across the water from Harwich at about 10pm.

The Holbrook Coastguard Rescue Team were tasked to the marina and were ready to receive the vessel.

Harwich RNLI’s lifeboat was released to return to the station to be made ready for service.