Couple’s Luncheon Date Proved Too Hard to Swallow

22nd August 2013

A simple crossing of the Solent for a family lunch proved to be a voyage too far for one couple today, resulting in them having to call on the help of Cowes RNLI lifeboat.

Mr and Mrs R Nash, of Southampton, had set out from Hamble with the intention of meeting up with their son for lunch at the Folly on the River Medina, between Cowes and Newport. But while motoring past the Bramble Bank their yacht, the 29 foot Naviga, suffered engine failure.

To add to their frustration they were unable to hoist their mainsail, and the headsail proved inadequate for their boat to fight against the tide in the light easterly wind. By the time the lifeboat reached the yacht it had drifted to off Egypt Point, Cowes.


After lifeboat crewman Stuart Higgs had gone aboard to attach a line the Naviga was towed to Cowes Yacht Haven where it was lifted on to the shore for repairs. The lifeboat, helmed by Laurie O’Callaghan, was launched at 1.45 pm and was off-station for just over an hour.



Author: George Chastney.

Cowes Lifeboat Refloats Grounded Yacht

A 40 foot sailing yacht with four people aboard had to use the expertise of Cowes RNLI lifeboat’s crew after going aground on rocks in the Western Solent this afternoon.

The yacht, Fair Return, had radioed Solent Coastguards it had gone aground at Salt Mead Ledge, off Newtown. After launching at 1.45 pm the lifeboat was soon on the scene, and proceeded to use the yacht’s spinnaker halyard to pull it over to the starboard to lessen its deep draught.

The Fair Return was then able to then free itself and motor free of the danger, apparently undamaged.

The lifeboat, helmed by Max Rimington, with a crew of Richard O’Callaghan, Andrea Vaughan and Robbie Southwell, returned to station at 2.55 pm.

RNLI at V-Dub Island

Crew members of Cowes RNLI have been ‘exhibiting’ at V-Dub Island in Northwood, the annual event for Volkswagen campers. They have been giving out free Sea Safety advice, fundraising, running the ‘Get your kit on’ event and much more!








Next Open Day

The next open day is on Monday 26th August from 10 until 2 at Cowes Lifeboat Station. Come and have a look at our station, kit, lifeboat and much more. All are welcome.

For more information, please contact Steve Price, Lifeboat Visitor Officer (LVO) at

Cowes Lifeboat in Night-Time ‘Shout’ to RIB

Plans by a man to take a RIB from Hamble to Cowes last (Sunday) night ran into trouble when the craft broke down at the mouth of Southampton Water.

Alerted to the emergency by Solent Coastguards, Cowes RNLI lifeboat launched at 9.20 pm and was at the scene 11 minutes later. It was discovered the RIB, with only the man on board, had lost propulsion through gear box failure.

The craft was towed to Cowes.

Author: George Chastney

Youngsters’ Station Visit Goes Down a Storm


The first official visit to Cowes lifeboat station by members of Stormforce, the RNLI club for children, proved to be a resounding success.
Despite the station busily playing its part in Cowes Week activities, several lifeboat members found time to occupy the youngsters and parents for a full two and half hours.
Organised by lifeboat visitor officer Steve Price, the programme included a tour conducted by Steve of the Atlantic 85 RIB ‘Sheena Louise’, a rope knot demonstration by Richard Parr and lessons in First Aid by Dr Will King. A final treat was to witness the launching and recovery of the lifeboat, prior to its daily safety patrol during the famous regatta.
Thanking fellow station members for giving up the morning for the visit, Steve reported: “The feedback from the children was excellent, with all the activities on the day given a happy face on their forms.
“Lifeboat members had a real willingness to work together to share their expertise and passion for the lifeboats with our young supporters and families, some Islanders and others holidaying on the Island. Not only did the children enjoy a ‘hands on’ experience but, more importantly, their membership of Stormforce will hopefully have created life-long supporters of the charity.
“It was also nice that at the end of the visit we received £85.22 in donations from the young visitors and their families.”
He was, in addition, very grateful to Cowes Lifeboat Guild members Anna Morgan Crockett and Fran Bracken for providing the youngsters with refreshments.

Author: George Chastney
Photo credit: Nick Edwards

Cowes Lifeboat Newly Weds In Windsurfer Rescue Dash


A newly-wed couple were part of the crew of Cowes lifeboat when it launched to go to the aid of a windsurfer who was overcome by challenging conditions in the Solent this evening.

After the call came from Solent Coastguards that a shore-watcher had reported seeing a windsurfer clinging to his board the four-person crew in the launched lifeboat included Alasdair Boden and his new wife, Heather, both well established lifeboat members before their recent marriage.

The windsurfer was first spotted in real trouble some 200 metres from Gurnard Sailing Club. Because of a strong ebb tide and a Force 5 south-westerly it was clear he was helpless to prevent being swept further westwards.

The lifeboat, with Alasdair at the helm,. launched just after 6 pm. It soon arrived in the area, and despite the choppy conditions the crew quickly located the man, by then half a mile from the first sighting. He and his board were taken aboard the lifeboat and were delivered back to Gurnard beach.

Author: George Chastney

Crippled Motor-Cruiser Gets a Tow from Cowes Lifeboat

A 40 foot motor-cruiser which sought help through Solent Coastguards today after reporting engine failure, was eventually towed into Cowes by the local RNLI lifeboat.

The motor-cruiser, Mi Gemm, with four persons aboard, was in Thorness Bay when problem was reported. The lifeboat, with Patrick Moreton at the helm, was launched at 1.12 pm and was soon on the scene.

Author: George Chastney

Lifeboat Rescues Teenagers and their Blue and Pink Princess


Cowes RNLI lifeboat raced to the aid of four teenagers judged to be in real danger aboard a 16 foot dinghy in the Solent this (Tuesday) evening.

The youngsters, two youths and two girls with ages between 17 and 19, had set off from Newport in their blue and pink craft, named Princess, with the intention of paddling their way down the River Medina and then four miles eastwards in the Solent to Wootton. But while the ebb tide ensured good progress down the river they quickly found the tide was well against them in the Solent.

They had got no further than off The Shrape, East Cowes, before an on-shore policeman decided to alert Solent Coastguards that they could soon be in real trouble.

When the lifeboat arrived on the scene just after 9 pm they found none of the teenagers – two from East Cowes and two from Wootton, were wearing lifejackets and, with twilight fast approaching, their boat carried no lights. All four were immediately transferred to the lifeboat and they and their boat taken to East Cowes Marina.

The 19 year old told the lifeboat crew he had only purchased Princess that day and decided to take it and his friends for a trip. On arrival at marina the lifeboat helm, Laurie O’Callaghan, gave him some sea safety advice in the hope that future voyages would be uneventful.

Author: George Chastney