RYDE Inshore Rescue had to leave a birthday dinner last night (Monday) to help two men drifting in a dinghy.

Pagers went off at 8.20pm as crew and their family were out for a meal at Appley Manor celebrating a crewman's 20th birthday.

The two men were in a 15ft dinghy which was drifting 1.5 miles north east of Ryde Pier.

There was no wind, they had suffered engine failure and after more than 12 hours of sailing, the dinghy crew were getting nowhere.

Ryde Inshore Rescue took them in tow for 50 minutes towards their sailing club by Hillhead where they were safely recovered.

Ryde Inshore Rescue crew returned to base via Gosport for fuel and all crew left the station just after 11pm.

On a Facebook post, Ryde Inshore Rescue said: "We would like to firstly apologies to fellow diners as we all ran out of the restaurant and secondly like to thank the Appley Manor for reheating and replacing some of our meals that a couple of the shore crew managed to get back to.... unlike the boat crew."