A MOTORBOAT got into trouble on rocks at East Cowes late last night — and the key snapped in the ignition.

The vessel, with three men on board, was being pushed on to rocks near Castle Point.

It became the focus of the latest rescue operation by Cowes RNLI lifeboat — which has recently surpassed 600 call-outs.

The Hamble-based 19ft motorboat had apparently carried the men to various locations on both sides of the Solent before they ran into serious engine trouble.

Having launched just before 11pm, the lifeboat found the 33-year-old owner cold and wet from jumping into the sea in an effort push the powerless boat away from rocks.

After towing the motorboat clear of the hazardous shore the lifeboat carried out an alongside tow to Trinity Landing.

There the owner was provided with a blanket from the lifeboat station.

Also at Trinity Landing were members of the Ventnor Coastguard Rescue Team, ready to assist from shore.

The lifeboat returned to station just after midnight.

Lifeboat helm, Myles Hussey, said, “We got as close to the East Cowes shore as we could before one of our crew, Mark Crook, jumped into the water and took a tow line across to the motorboat.

“The men had been unable to start their engine because the key had broken in the ignition,” said Myles.

“We also found that the boat had suffered damage to the port bow and propeller.”