A BROKEN down cargo ship drifting towards a wind farm has been brought back to shore in icy conditions.

The Shoreham all-weather lifeboat was launched at 3am on Thursday to the 88m ship which was getting closer to the Rampion Wind Farm.

The ship, which had seven crew members on board, had suffered engine failure 14 miles off Shoreham.

The cargo ship dropped its anchor and the lifeboat crew stood by for five hours in rough seas and freezing temperatures until a tugboat arrived from Bembridge on the Isle of Wight to take it under tow.

Once the tow had been secured, the tug started to tow the vessel to Southampton.

Lifeboat coxswain Steve Smith said: “The conditions were freezing and the seas were rough with the high winds.

"We remained on scene until we were sure the tow was safely under way and all on board were ok.

“We returned to station with a frozen boat literally. Instead of being just wet it was covered in ice.”