Portsmouth RNLI lifeboat was launched after a 20ft sailing boat suffered a sudden dismasting, leaving the crew adrift approximately a mile south of Langstone Harbour entrance.
The experienced crew had been out for an evening sail in the light Solent wind at 10mph when the mast suddenly snapped in two, collapsing to the deck. With the sails and rigging left trailing in the water the sailboats skipper called the Portsmouth lifeboat station for assistance.
Already on station for routine training the Atlantic 85 Lifeboat Norma T launched within minutes and raced to the scene.
Arriving at the casualty vessel the lifeboat crew ensured the four men where safe and well before establishing a tow to the nearest marina.
The incident happened on Wednesday evening.