Lifeboat crews were called out early this morning (Thursday) to join the search for three sailors on their way back from a night on dry land, who had to be rescued.

The trio had reportedly left their cargo ship, anchored two miles off the coast, to sample the nightlife in Barry, South Wales, on Wednesday.

They began their return trip in a rigid inflatable at about 3.45am, but were reported missing three hours later.

Rescuers found them shortly before 8.30am on Flat Holm island, four miles off the Welsh coast.

The three men, who are Russian, Dutch and Philippine nationals, were crew members aboard the Dutch-registered coaster Alana Evita.

Five lifeboats from Minehead, Barry Dock and Penarth were launched together with a coastguard helicopter during the search.

South Wales Police said it had worked with HM Coastguard and the RNLI and added the men were “now being assisted by police officers”.

Pictured: One of the sailors rescued by the Penarth RNLI volunteers (RNLI)