Abandoned Dinghy Leads to Massive Lifeboat Search

26th September 2020

The finding of a dinghy, with an outboard engine and oars attached, against a sea-wall at East Cowes, sparked an exhaustive search by Cowes lifeboat today.

The search, in bitterly cold winds, began at 8.29 am and lasted a total of three and a half hours; during this time the lifeboat meticulously searched the Solent between East Cowes and Egypt Point, plus Cowes Harbour and the River Medina as far as The Folly. 

No-one was found, however, and eventually the four-person crew returned to station.

Investigations revealed that the dinghy had been based at Shepards Marina, alongside a yacht. It was later returned there by a Cowes Harbour Commission launch.

Back home after the massive search lifeboat helmsman Jason Hughes, said, “The wind chill factor meant that it was very cold. Now all I want is a hot drink and a hot bath!”

He said one thing they did find in the river was a motorboat that had sunk at a pile mooring. This was reported to Coastguards.

In view of the unusually long search by the volunteers aboard the lifeboat and ashore the lifeboat station stood down from service for a few hours.