Cowes Lifeboat Involved in Exhaustive Search for Jet-Skier

5th August 2020

Searching alongside Ryde Inshore Rescue

Cowes RNLI lifeboat took part in one of the most comprehensive searches of the Solent for some years, after an unmanned jet-ski was spotted adrift off Lee-on-Solent yesterday evening.

At various times the search involved five lifeboats – both RNLI and independent – six coastguard teams, two police launches, a helicopter and a fixed wing aircraft. 

Coastguards were first alerted to the unmanned jet-ski by a passing tanker.  After the jet-ski was recovered and examined there were definite clues that the driver had been separated from the machine while afloat. 

Although many searchers combed long stretches of the Solent and its coastline with powerful lights through the night, Cowes lifeboat was only called upon to support the operation this morning. Having launched at 8.49 am, it finally returned to station just after mid-day, when there were still no reports that the missing man had been found. 

Cowes Lifeboat Involved in Night-time Coastal Emergency

3rd August 2020

A young man and a woman were the focus of a shoreside rescue operation last night involving Cowes RNLI lifeboat and Isle of Wight coastguards.

The alarm was raised by the young woman who used her mobile phone to tell coastguards that both needed help soon after starting to walk from Thorness to Gurnard.

The lifeboat launched just after midnight; also dispatched were Needles and Ventnor coastguards and an ambulance. Eventually the young woman, who lived in Newport, was escorted by coastguards along the cliff path to Gurnard Luck where she was attended to by paramedics.

Later the young man, who was Polish but had an address in Cowes, was also located after his shouts for help were heard. He, though, had received injuries while apparently attempting to climb the bush and rock covered cliff. 

Eventually he was put on a stretcher aboard the lifeboat, which delivered him Trinity Landing, Cowes, where he was transferred to a waiting ambulance.

The lifeboat returned to station just after 2 am.

Cowes Lifeboat Assists Sail-Jammed Yacht

1st August 2020

Chris Adams relaxes on the station slipway after his probable last shout.

Cowes RNLI lifeboat went to the aid of a yacht in a choppy Western Solent today, which had a hopelessly jammed jib. 

To add to the problems for the two men aboard the stricken boat – they could not start the engine.

Their plight was originally reported to Coastguards by another vessel. Fortuitously, Cowes lifeboat was already afloat, taking part in a routine exercise, and the call to help came through at 12.52 pm. 

After eventually sorting out the jib the lifeboat towed the yacht to a mooring in Beaulieu River, and returned to station at 3.15 pm.

Although the ‘shout’ was not so dramatic as some involving Cowes lifeboat, it proved particularly memorable for Chris Adams, for whom this could well be the last time he serves as a crew member. Chris, who on the 9th August will be 55, when crew members are obliged to stand down, had been with the lifeboat for ten years.

“I would like to stay as crew, but obviously younger people are coming through to fill my place,” Chris said. He also said his local business, making bespoke globes, was these days taking up so much of his time.

“But I shall not be leaving the station completely. I will become part of the shore crew.” 

Cowes Lifeboat Goes to the Rescue Twice-Over

21st July 2020

The kayak is pictured being carried by the lifeboat.

A man spotted in the water trying without success to regain his faulty jet-ski led to Cowes RNLi Lifeboat being launched this evening.

First to raise the alarm from their Gurnard seafront home was Sarah Hughes, wife of Jason, a helm with Cowes Lifeboat. Jason quickly called Coastguards and went to the station to help man the lifeboat. Launched at 7.30 pm, the lifeboat was soon on the scene, to find that by then the jet-skier and his machine were being taken to Cowes by a yacht, the crew unselfishly abandoning their Tuesday night racing.

Also in the area was a kayaker which had launched from Gurnard to assist the jet-skier. Because the kayak was being swept by the tide, both it and its crewman were lifted on to the lifeboat.

Eventually both rescued jet-ski and kayak, together with their crews, were taken from Cowes by the lifeboat back to Gurnard beach.

Describing the jet-ski incident later, Sarah Hughes, said: “Out of our window I saw the jet-skier apparently having trouble with his engine. He jumped in the water and then had a real struggle to get back onto the jet-ski again. He began waving for help,only for people on another boat just to wave back to him!”

Safety Worries for Children Spark Cowes Lifeboat Launch

20th July 2020

Short video of Cowes Lifeboat responding

Concern over two children in the sea off East Cowes led to the launch of Cowes RNLI lifeboat this evening.

But when the lifeboat arrived on the scene it was found that the children, aged eight and thirteen, had managed to reach the shore and were safe and well.

The lifeboat, which had launched just after 6 pm, was back at the station 12 minutes later.

Cowes Lifeboat Called Out Twice in 24 Hours

26th June 2020

Cowes RNLI lifeboat made an early morning dash to Thorness Bay today after reports that a possibly violent young man had waded into the sea.

But when the lifeboat arrived on the scene the crew found the man had already been apprehended by police – having apparently regained the shore ‘after being scared by a large fish’.

The lifeboat, which had launched at 6.30 am, was also tasked the previous evening when an RYA SafeTrx alert was activated. When, however, the lifeboat located the boat it was found the owner had set off the alert by accident.

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