Cowes Lifeboat Tows Crippled Yacht to Safety

9th January 2022

The lifeboat alongside the stranded yacht.

A lone yachtsman aboard his 37-foot boat gratefully received the assistance of Cowes RNLI lifeboat yesterday (Sunday) evening after his propeller was fouled by an underwater object.

The incident occurred between Norris and Old Castle Point, off East Cowes. After launching just before 6 pm the lifeboat was soon on the scene, and began an alongside tow of the yacht, against the tide, back to Cowes. Eventually it was returned to its River Medina mooring off The Folly.

Crew member and Cowes Harbour Pilot Orry Crews, on his first shout.

The lifeboat returned to station at 7.15 pm. It had been the first shout for one of the station’s newest four crew members, Orry Crews.

Helmsman Laurie is Honoured with an Official Farewell

23rd December 2021

Laurie receives the RNLI’s Certificate of Service and a framed photograph from the Cowes Operations Manager, Mark Southwell. (photo by Nick Edwards)

The departure from Cowes RNLI lifeboat of one of its helms was marked with a presentation ceremony at the station.

Laurie Callaghan’s local lifeboat connection began back in 2007 when he joined the-then independent lifeboat as a prospective crew member. The following year he became a fully-fledged crew member.

Although he left before the RNLI took over the service in 2008, two years later he was back again, and in 2014 he joined his father, Richard, as one of the station’s helms. Although Richard eventually retired as a helm, Laurie continued in the role until his work and personal commitments meant he was no longer available.

As a 2nd officer with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, he currently has a shore-based post at Portsmouth Dockyard, and a home in North Somerset. In November he married Emily who is a 3rd officer with the RFA.

“My father encouraged me to join Cowes lifeboat and I have very good memories of my time here,” said Laurie, now aged 32.

Cowes operations manager, Mark Southwell, praised his seamanship and leadership while at Cowes. “Hopefully one day he will live near a lifeboat station and serve with the RNLI again,” he added.

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Two Lifeboats Rush to Assist Leaking Fishing Boat

5th December 2021

Cowes lifeboat stands by as the fishing boat, with lifeboat personnel on board, is towed by Hamble lifeboat to Cowes.

A 20-foot fishing boat which had sprung a leak became the subject of a rescue operation off Gurnard over the weekend, involving two lifeboats including the RNLI’s Cowes boat.

First on the scene was Hamble’s independent lifeboat, already out in the Solent on exercise, whose crew found the leak came from the engine’s coolant pipe.

The elder of the two anglers aboard was transferred to the Hamble lifeboat while his place on the fishing boat was taken by a Hamble crew member with a salvage pump. He was then joined by a crewman from the Cowes lifeboat, and water began to be extracted with a bucket.

Eventually Hamble towed the fishing boat against a strong tide to Trinity Landing, Cowes – shadowed all the way by the Cowes lifeboat.

Cowes lifeboat, which had launched around 11.30 on Saturday, was away from station some two hours.

Brave Natasha Welcomed Once More to Cowes Lifeboat Station

5th December 2021

Natasha in the boathouse with her father, Gary, and station members including Mark Southwell (left).

Members of Cowes RNLI lifeboat welcomed quadriplegic cerebral palsy sufferer Natasha Lambert to the station’s boathouse, to thank her for her extraordinary fund-raising crossing of the Atlantic.

The 3,000-mile crossing from Gran Canaria to St Lucia on the specially adapted catamaran, Blown Away, has led to three charities – the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, the Missisle School of Sip Puff Sailing, and Cowes RNLI – each receiving £3,342.33.

Natasha was 23 when she embarked on the challenge in November last year, accompanied by her mother, father, sister and four others. When Natasha was on watch the boat’s controls were switched to an ingenious sip puff technology (designed by her father, Gary), allowing Natasha to both steer the boat and trim and sails.

The voyage took 18 days and 22 hours to complete, during which the crew encountered some really challenging seas. The Lambert family, whose home is in Chawton, Northwood, stayed on in the Caribbean until June 2021.

Cowes station’s operations manager, Mark Southwell, said later, “What Natasha achieved was well outside many people’s comfort zone. We are honoured to be the beneficiary for the third time of her wonderful maritime exploits – the previous ones having paid for the station’s kitchen and the extra-large TV screen for training purposes.”

Lifeboat Goes to Aid of Capsized Catamaran

19th September 2021

The lifeboat approaches the catamaran, with the man standing on one of the hulls, and the yacht which had provided a tow.

A capsized catamaran and its one-man crew, in danger of drifting into the Solent’s main shipping lane, became the object of a call-out by Cowes RNLI lifeboat this (Sunday evening.

When the lifeboat arrived on the scene, off Calshot Spit, they learned that the 5.5 metre catamaran had been turned over by a gust of wind. In its capsized state it was then taken in tow by a yacht.

Lifeboat crewman Andy Stretton begins to assist the yachtsman in righting the craft. 

With the help of lifeboat crewman Andy Stretton transferring to the catamaran, the man was able to right the craft. Although initially he attempted to continue on sailing, he quickly changed his mind, and the lifeboat duly towed the craft to Calshot Slip.

The lifeboat, which had launched just after 6 pm, returned to station at 7,15 pm

Cowes Lifeboat Responds to Family’s Fire Alert

29th August 2021


An electrical fire aboard a motor-cruiser carrying a family of five this morning sparked an urgent launch for Cowes lifeboat.

The 30-foot craft was off Newtown at the time of the call for help. However, by the time the lifeboat arrived alongside the motor-cruiser it had been towed by another craft to off Hurst Point and everyone except the man had transferred to another boat.

Although the lifeboat crew found no sign of fire, there was a strong smell of smoke. Because of a possible risk, the motor-cruiser was barred from entering Yarmouth Harbour, and responsibility for the vessel was subsequently handed over by the lifeboat to the emergency Seastart service.

The lifeboat, which had launched just before 10 am, returned to station at 11.45 am.

Cowes and Calshot Lifeboats Attend Family Emergency

28th August 2021

Cowes lifeboat approaches Calshot lifeboat on Lepe beach.

RNLI lifeboats from Calshot and Cowes were launched this afternoon following reports of a family in difficulty during a paddle boarding incident off Lepe Beach.

Calshot RNLI lifeboat Atlantic 85 lifeboat was paged at 2.10pm. The volunteer crew arrived to offer assistance to two teenagers and a lady. A fourth male casualty was being airlifted to hospital when the lifeboat arrived.

Cowes RNLI lifeboat was also launched to assist during the incident.

Round Britain Row in Aid of RNLI Ends in Cowes

22nd August 2021

The Rowers near the end of their marathon row, escorted by Cowes lifeboat.

Four rowers whose specially designed boat had circled Britain to raise funds for the RNLI returned on Sunday to Cowes, where the ambitious challenge all began 43 days and four hours before.

Escorting the boat into Cowes Harbour was the local lifeboat plus well-wishers on other craft. As soon as the boat was moored alongside Trinity Landing the rowers, two men and two women, were given a rousing Champagne dousing.

There was also a chance for Cowes lifeboat members to present a cheque, intended to show that the circumnavigation had raised £8,775 – although the rowers believed the final figure would be nearer £10,000.

Champagne welcome for the rowers. (picture by Nick Edwards)

The boat actually set out from Cowes with a six-strong international crew, but two had to leave at separate times during the row for pressing reasons. The whole circumnavigation of nearly 2,000 miles was done by super yacht captain Andy Burns, formerly from Cowes, Simone Talfauld, freelance film marketeer, from Colchester, James Scott, an electrician and a member of Plymouth RNLI lifeboat,, and Mia Showell-Woodsmith, a lawyer in the City but from Australia.

Giant cheque indicating just some of the money raised. (picture by Nick Edwards)

A fifth rower, Liz Grant, a New Zealander who lives in Southampton and is a chief officer with Red Funnel Steamers, had to leave the boat at Aberdeen for medical reasons, but she was at Cowes to welcome her fellow rowers. The sixth rower, Roy Hubbard, an American, had to leave the boat at Skegness because of a family emergency.

The rowing boat was loaned for the event by Tom  and Charlie Salt, and sponsorship came from Aquanobel, a Swedish water company. E

Cowes Lifeboat Attends Scene of Children Rescue

16th August 2021

Lymington Lifeboat, who also assisted, seen from Cowes Lifeboat

Cowes lifeboat crossed the Solent this evening to give follow-up support to a life-threatening drama  that had involved three young children.

The incident occurred at Lepe when two men swam out to the children, all believed to be under ten, who were clearly in difficulty.

Although the rescuers and rescued safely reached the shore, the lifeboat arrived to find one of the men face down on the beach, struggling to breath. He was given first aid by a lifeboat member, and also then checked by a fireman and a Lymington coastguard before being handed over to an ambulance.

The lifeboat, which had launched at 5.48 pm, returned to station an hour later.EC

Solent Rescue of Engine-Failed Yacht

13th August 2021

The yacht is brought alongside Trinity Landing.

A man and two women who were making little progress in lively seas aboard their yacht were finally rescued by Cowes RNLI lifeboat this (Friday) evening.

The alarm was raised when the 29-foot yacht suffered engine failure well off Thorness. To add to the problems the sea was too deep to safely deploy the anchor, and the sails proved not too effective in the strong tide.

The lifeboat towed the yacht to outside Cowes Harbour’s breakwater, where it changed to an alongside tow before bringing the yacht to Trinity Landing. Waiting for its arrival were Ventnor’s coastguards.

The lifeboat, which launched at 5.18 pm returned to station at 7 pm.