A windsurfer spotted by on-lookers
to be off his board and apparently struggling in the sea off Gurnard led to the
launching of Cowes RNLI lifeboat this evening.
People ashore raised the
alarm after seeing that the man had come off his board and seemed to be in
difficulty as he drifted westwards in the tide.
After launching at 4.15 pm
the lifeboat crew, however, found he had in fact managed to swim close to the
beach at the Little Gloster without assistance; they then merely stood by as a
precaution until reached the shore – bringing the surf-board with him.
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.
Three men aboard a 25-foot motorboat who experienced trouble, three times, over on a wind-swept Solent this afternoon were saved from more serious problems by Cowes RNLI lifeboat.
First an electrical fault put the engine out of action in a Force 7 north-westerly between East Cowes and Fishbourne, then deployment of the boat’s two anchors failed to prevent the craft being driven closer to the rock-strewn shore.
A crew member alerted both Coastguards and Cowes lifeboat’s Station Manager, Mark Southwell, of their plight.
After launching at 2.15 pm the lifeboat was soon on the scene and took the motorboat in tow for Cowes Harbour. There it was given shelter by Shepards Marina, and the lifeboat returned to station at 3.25 pm.
It was the second tow-in performed by Cowes lifeboat this week. On Wednesday it went to the aid of a 30-foot yacht struggling to make headway a mile west of Cowes.
Although initially Calshot RNLI’s D Class lifeboat had first spotted the problem, its crew decided Cowes’ more powerful Atlantic 85 lifeboat was best suited for the rescue. The yacht, on passage from Yarmouth to Cowes, was taken into Shepards Marina. Coincidentally both Calshot and Cowes lifeboat were already afloat at the time of the emergency, undergoing training/assessment exercises
A crippled motorboat carrying three men that was being pushed on to rocks at East Cowes last (Saturday) night became the focus of the latest rescue operation by Cowes RNLI lifeboat.
The Hamble-based 19-foot motorboat had apparently carried the men to various locations on both sides of the Solent before they ran into serious engine trouble near Castle Point, East Cowes.
Having launched just before 11 pm, the lifeboat found the 33-year-old owner cold and wet from jumping into the sea in an effort push the powerless boat away from rocks.
After towing the motorboat clear of the hazardous shore the lifeboat carried out an alongside tow to Trinity Landing. There the owner was quickly provided with a blanket from the lifeboat station. Also at Trinity Landing were members of the Ventnor coastguard team.
The lifeboat returned to station just after midnight.
Lifeboat helm, Myles Hussey, said, “We got as close to the East Cowes shore as we could before one of our crew, Mark Crook, jumped into the water and took a tow line across to the motorboat.
“The men had been unable to start their engine because the key had broken in the ignition,” said Myles. “We also found that the boat had suffered damage to the port bow and propeller.”
Cowes RNLI lifeboat this (Thursday) evening passed its 600th ‘shout’ since the life-saving charity began operations in the town in 2008.
First it went to the aid of a motorboat and later a yacht – both in potentially life-threatening trouble in the choppy conditions.
The crew were alerted to the first emergency – the 600th – in a unique way; because of the coronavirus they were undergoing their weekly crew meeting at the time, away from the station, through Zoom.
Coastguards had informed Station Operations Manager, Mark Southwell, that a 24-foot motorboat was grounded on rocks on the east side of Thorness Ledge, and the two people aboard were in urgent need of assistance in failing light and a heavy swell.
After launching at 7.25 pm the lifeboat located the craft, also being monitored from the shore by Needles and Ventnor coastguard teams.
So began the long process of escorting it back to its base at Town Quay, Southampton. Despite the motor-boat’s navigation lights failing off Fawley the lifeboat completed the task, and finally returned to the Cowes station at 9.55 pm.
But just as the crew were washing down the lifeboat on the slipway there came a second alert, this time involving a 27-foot yacht with two people aboard; they radioed they had engine trouble.
The stricken yacht’s location on the edge of the main shipping channel, off Old Castle Point, East Cowes was helpfully pinpointed by a searchlight used by the pilot aboard the passing giant car-carrier, Auto Energy. Eventually the lifeboat towed the yacht to Trinity Landing, Cowes.
As well as the station now exceeding the 600‘shouts’, the two operations meant that since Cowes RNLI took over from the town’s independent lifeboat in 2008 it had assisted no fewer than 753 people – men, women and, just occasionally, children.
A routine exercise for the crew of Cowes RNLI lifeboat turned into something more serious last (Tuesday) night when it was tasked to tow a small sailing vessel that had been in difficulty in Stokes Bay.
Having initially headed into the Solent for a towing exercise, the Cowes crew was tasked soon after 9 pm by Coastguards to take over the tow of the sailing boat from Gosport’s independent lifeboat. It appeared the sailing boat’s crew had been unable to proceed to Cowes in the dark.
Cowes lifeboat, helmed by Myles Hussey, duly towed the craft to Trinity Landing, with a lifeboat crew member aboard, where it was met by a Needles Coastguard team and the lifeboat shore crew.
A 26-foot yacht, in danger of being seriously damaged on rocks and a wall in a strong north-easterly, was towed to safety by Cowes RNLI lifeboat early this morning.
The boat, with a young man aboard, had slightly damaged its rudder because of rocks at Old Castle Point, East Cowes, preventing it going to port. The man, who was resting in the cabin when the lifeboat arrived on the scene, had gone aground during the night.
Lifeboat helm, Neil Archer, said, “There was a one and a half metre swell at the time of our arrival, and the situation could only have got worse when the tide turned, pushing the yacht well on to the wall.”
The lifeboat, which had launched at 6.30 am towed the boat to Trinity Landing; it returned to station around 8 am.
A 10.6 metre yacht that told coastguards they had steering problems off Gurnard Green this evening led to the launching of Cowes RNLI lifeboat.
The yacht, with two men and a woman on board, had sailed in strong winds from Hamble Point. Although the lifeboat was ready to tow the yacht to safety, the yacht crew had in fact managed to overcome the problem, and all that was left for the lifeboat to do was to escort the craft to the River Medina.
Although initially the yacht crew planned to moor at East Cowes Marina, they soon decided instead to sail without assistance back across the Solent to Hamble Point.
The lifeboat, which launched at 5.23 pm, returned to station at 6.10 pm.C
Cowes RNLI lifeboat was this evening involved in a search for a woman feared to be in the sea in the Ryde Pier area, only then to be tasked to Wootton Creek some two miles away to assist a woman pulled unconscious from the sea.
It is understood the two incidents were apparently completely unconnected.
The lifeboat was first launched to go to Ryde at 6.35 pm, after concerns about a woman’s welfare. The crew carried out a thorough search both around and under the pier. Also in the area were Isle of Wight coastguards and Wight Search and Rescue.
Eventually, with no sign of the woman, Cowes lifeboat was then asked to help a woman pulled from Wootton Creek in the area of Wightlink’s Fishbourne ferry terminal.
Lifeboat helm Myles Hussey said, “When we arrived we found she had already been pulled unconscious from the sea by members of the public and was on the shore just by the ferries’ linkspan. Apparently she was not the one we had been searching for at Ryde, which made this double shout most odd.”
Another crew member, Dr Will King, started resuscitation procedures, soon joined by paramedics. She was then stretchered onto the lifeboat and taken to the nearby Royal Victoria Yacht Club pontoon where she was transferred to an ambulance and taken to St Mary’s Hospital.
“It was very fortunate she had been spotted by members of the public, particularly with the added danger of being run down by the car ferry,” said Will.
Also at Fishbourne were coastguard rescue teams from Bembridge and Ventnor, and the police.