Police officers on-board Vanguard were proceeding to a reported stolen boat that was being driven erratically in Poole Harbour.
The lifeboats were tasked to stand by in case anyone jumped off the vessel into the water.
Conditions in the harbour were calm with a gentle north westerly breeze.
The alleged stolen vessel, a 24-foot fishing boat, was swiftly located having gone aground in shallow waters at Whitley Lake.
Police officers were transferred on to the lifeboat and transported to the vessel for further investigation as the Harbour Patrol boat could not go into the shallow water. Two people were hiding in the forward cabin of the fishing boat. They and the police officers were carried by the lifeboat back to Vanguard to be taken ashore.
Meanwhile the RNLI lifeboat volunteers towed the stricken vessel into deeper water and secured it to a mooring on the edge of the channel.
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