Cross Solent Visitors Get Lifeboat Escort

28th May 2020

Photo Credit: Cowes RNLI

Concern for the safety of eight men and women aboard four small powered
craft, or tenders, led to Cowes RNLI lifeboat being launched this (Thurs) evening.

The eight people had crossed the Solent from the Calshot area. After some, at least, called at Town Quay pontoon around 4 pm, everyone eventually made for the area of Osborne Bay. Concerns by other boat users about the group, however, led to an emergency call to HM Coastguards.

After launching at 6.10 pm the lifeboat proceeded to escort the four craft and their crew back across the Solent. The lifeboat returned to station just over an hour later.

Kite Surfer Fears Trigger Major Night-Time Search

8th March 2020

An extensive air and sea search of the Solent took place in the dark this evening following concerns that a kite surfer was missing.

The concern was first sparked by the finding of the kite near the entrance of Cowes Harbour and then, later, the recovery from the sea of a surf-board.

But after a thorough search by Cowes and Lymington RNLI lifeboats, plus the Hamble independent lifeboat and the Coastguard helicopter, it was discovered the surfer was in fact safe and well at home.

Cowes lifeboat, which launched just after 8 pm, returned to station about an hour later. It was the first time Ady Stothard had taken command of the lifeboat after recently qualifying as a helm; it was also the first ‘shout’ by new crew member Jack Banks.

Cowes Lifeboat Assists In-Trouble Lone Yachtsman

8th March 2020

An initial report that a lone yachtsman aboard a 24-foot boat had engine trouble, was unable to lower his sails or drop anchor, led to Cowes RNLI lifeboat dashing across the Solent yesterday (Saturday) evening.

Despite the yacht having a faulty VHF radio it was eventually located in Beaulieu River. There the lifeboat crew discovered that the yachtsman had managed by then to lower his sails and to make slow progress with a small engine that kept cutting out.

The yacht, which had been on passage from Gosport to Christchurch, was duly given an alongside tow by the lifeboat to Bucklers Hard. Cowes lifeboat had launched just after 4.30 pm

Spare-Time Fishermen Become Cowes Lifeboat Helms

26th February 2020

Two men whose hobby has been to, quite separately, take fishing boats out into the Solent have each now qualified as the latest volunteer helms of Cowes RNLI lifeboat.

Ady Stothard, aged 41 and working for a firm making fruit and vinegar products, had been an ordinary member of the crew for the past three years, six months after joining the station.

“I have had a few fishing boats over the years,” he recalled.

“And as I always appreciated that the RNLI would help me if I was ever in trouble, I thought I would like to give something back to the organisation.”

Like Ady, Myles Hussey also likes to get out into the Solent with a fishing boat.

“And I, too, had seen the lifeboat while out there,” said Myles, aged 30 and a self-employed plumber. “By joining the RNLI I am giving something back to the community.”

He had been on the lifeboat’s crew list for the past one and half years – a year after joining the station.

Welcoming the two men’s qualification to take charge of the station’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat – which normally carries a crew of four – Station Operations Manager Mark Southwell said:

“They have worked very hard to achieve command status, well supported professionally in their training by the existing helms.

“And the fact that both qualified as helms on the first attempt reflects the high opinion the independent assessor has of them.

“Cowes continues to train future helms. To offer 24-hour cover, and provide boat crew training and local assessment, eight helms are the optimum for our station. We currently have six.”

Photo Credit: Nick Edwards/Cowes RNLI

Man-in-Water Report Sparks Night-Time Search

22nd February 2020

Concern that a man had gone into the River Medina led to Cowes RNLI lifeboat carrying out an intensive night-time search over the weekend.

The lifeboat was launched at 11.40 pm on Friday night in response to concerns that a man had gone into the upper reaches of the river, With the aid of an on-board searchlight, the lifeboat proceeded to painstakingly search from the area of the Folly up to the Riverside Centre at Newport Harbour.

The search was carried out alongside Coastguard Rescue Teams from Ventnor, Needles and Bembridge as well as WightSAR and a police helicopter.

Eventually, after finding nothing, the lifeboat returned to the station at 3.25 am.

Cowes Lifeboat Responds to Report of Empty Dinghy

13th February 2020

A report from a cross-Solent ferry that an empty dinghy had been spotted in the Solent sparked a thorough search by Cowes RNLI lifeboat this evening (Thursday).

The dinghy, said to be about four metres long, was reported to have been seen off Fishbourne by Wightlink’s Victoria of Wight.

Having launched about 5 pm, the lifeboat painstakingly searched an extensive area of the Solent plus Wootton Creek for nearly an hour.

Nothing was found, however, and with the light fading the lifeboat returned to station.

Lifeboats Galore Descend on Cowes for a Crew Lunch

18th January 2019

Lifeboats from around the shores of the Isle of Wight and Hampshire poured into Cowes Harbour today (Sat) for the annual get-together in the port.

Leading the way into the Royal Yacht Squadron ‘s marina was the RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat from Bembridge – to be followed by a number of RNLI and independent inshore lifeboats.

Disappointingly absent was the Island’s other all-weather lifeboat, based at Yarmouth.

The crews of lifeboats in the marina were joined on shore by other lifeboat crews who had come by road – plus Coastguards from the Fareham headquarters and the Ventnor unit.

There followed a convivial lunch at the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s premises attended by over 100 people, after which the lifeboats returned to their respective stations.

Photo Credit: Nick Edwards/Cowes RNLI wightseen.co.uk

Grounding Yacht Sparks Lifeboat Call-Out

14th December 2019

The refloated yacht, with a member of the lifeboat crew aboard, is escorted by the lifeboat up the creek.

Cowes lifeboat was launched at lunch-time today to go to the aid of a small yacht in Wootton Creek.

The 20-foot yacht, with two men, a woman and a dog aboard had gone aground on a sandbank in a falling tide. Eventually the lifeboat managed tow the yacht into clear water.

With two of the yacht crew having transferred to the lifeboat, the yacht then made its own way under power up the creek to The Sloop, with a lifeboat crew member aboard.

The lifeboat, which launched just before 2 pm, had been away from the station for just over an hour.

Anne and Penny pose on the lifeboat slipway.

The call-out involved two female firsts for the station; it was the first time that Anne Simkin took charge of an emergency call-out after recently qualifying as a Deputy Launch Authority, and it was also the first time that Penny Jeffcoate had gone out on a ‘shout’ after being accepted as a boat crew trainee.

Prior to becoming a DLA Anne had been a member of the lifeboat crew for three and a half years.

Sinking Yacht Sparks Major Solent Emergency

11th November 2019

A major Solent emergency involving a sinking yacht led to Cowes RNLI lifeboat joining a number of vessels racing to its aid just after mid-day today.

The 40 foot yacht, with three Swiss men on board, had lost its rudder and was taking on water after it apparently snagged the anchor chain of No 2 buoy at the entrance of Cowes Harbour.

As the yacht began drifting westwards, all the time becoming more waterlogged, to its aid raced the lifeboat, together with a River Medina-based crew transport vessel, Calshot RNLI lifeboat, a police launch, a Cowes Harbour launch, and a catamaran and two car ferries belonging to Red Funnel.

Two of the yacht’s crew were quickly taken off by the crew transport craft. The yacht was boarded by two of the Cowes lifeboat crew with a salvage pump, but they found there was just too much water to be effective, having by then reached as high as the yacht’s chart table.

As it was clear the yacht would eventually sink, everyone was taken off the craft, and Cowes Harbour released a tow line to take the yacht further away from the shipping lane. The sinking finally occurred off Gurnard, leaving just part of the mast above the water. A marker buoy was put in place by the Cowes Harbour launch, as a warning to other vessels.

The yacht had been on passage from Portsmouth to Cowes when the incident occurred.

Cowes Lifeboat Responds to Breakwater Collision Emergency

26 October 2019

The motor-cruiser is manoeuvred alongside the outer
section of Trinity Landing


A 56-foot luxury motor-cruiser with two people aboard, driven broadside on to the new Cowes Harbour breakwater by strong winds and tide tonight (Sat), led to the urgent launching of Cowes RNLI lifeboat.

Launched at 8.38 pm, the lifeboat was soon on the scene. Helmsman Mark Harker decided to put crew member Adam Wilson aboard the motor-cruiser, who proceeded to help secure a tow rope to enable the bow to be pulled further from the breakwater.

A thorough inspection found that no breach of the hull had occurred, and after the motor-cruiser’s twin engines were restarted it was left to continue under its own power into Cowes Harbour, with the lifeboat providing a safety escort.

With further necessary help from the lifeboat, the motor-cruiser initially
moored on the outer section of Trinity Landing, but later – with Adam still aboard – it was relocated to the more sheltered inner section.

The motor-cruiser had been met on Trinity Landing by shore crew from the
lifeboat station, plus Island coastguards.

The lifeboat returned to station at 9.43 pm.

Caption to photo: The motor-cruiser is manoeuvred alongside the outer
section of Trinity Landing.