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

Cowes Lifeboat Benefits from Regatta’s ‘Thank You’ Cash

Cowes RNLI lifeboat station, which provided assistance to a yachtsman who had a suspected heart attack, subsequently received welcome monetary gifts for its prompt actions.

The man had been aboard the 37 foot Femme Fatale in Osborne Bay on 21 June when he complained of chest pains and tingling in an arm. Although Cowes lifeboat and crew were made ready to race to the scene it was then stood down after Solent Coastguards were informed the yacht was making for Trinity Landing under its own power.

But the lifeboat crew had not yet finished playing a part in the incident. Several quickly made their way on foot to Trinity Landing, where Graham Creagh and Patrick Moreton were on hand to provide First Aid support to the man pending the arrival of hospital paramedics.

Subsequently the station received cheques totalling £2,120 as a result of a charity raffle and personal donations arising from the event in which Femme Fatale was competing, a Cowes-based regatta organised by the Leicester pipeline and heating company, BSS. Company managing director Frank Elkins said all those involved in the regatta were grateful for the speedy way people, including Cowes lifeboat, responded to the emergency.

Thanking him, lifeboat operations manager Mark Southwell told him: “The RNLI continues to rely on voluntary contributions and legacies. It is only through these we are able to provide our volunteer lifeboat crews, lifeguards and efficient boats, equipment and training that are needed to save lives at sea.”

He added he was delighted to be told the yachtsman had now recovered from his health scare. end.

Author: George Chastney

Drifting Dinghy Proved No Child’s Play for One Man

DA 25 year old man, aimlessly adrift on the Solent in a child’s inflatable dinghy, sparked a rescue operation involving Cowes RNLI, Hampshire police and auxiliary coastguards this evening.

The man had apparently gone to sea in the inflatable at Thorness, west of Cowes. Well over an hour later his plight was spotted by someone on Thorness Beach, and informed Solent Coastguards.

He was first taken aboard a police RIB, then later transferred to Cowes lifeboat which duly delivered him and his flimsy craft back to the shore. There Needles mobile auxiliary coastguards were waiting to further add to straightforward advice he had already received from the police.

Cowes lifeboat launched at 7.15 pm and returned at 8.25 pm.

Author: George Chastney

Yachtsman shoulders great pain for Andy Murray’s victory

A yachtsman whose celebrations over Andy Murray’s Wimbledon win went much too far, ended up with him in great pain and having to be rescued by Cowes RNLI lifeboat this evening.

The 45 year old man was aboard his friend’s 39 foot yacht, Bliss, moored in Newtown Creek, when he decided to take a celebratory dive into the sea on news of Murray’s championship victory.

As he hit the water, however, his right shoulder became dislocated. Although his arm was now firmly stuck in the air he still somehow managed to swim to the boat’s rear platform where he was helped back on board by the owner.

After being alerted by Solent Coastguards of the incident, the lifeboat was launched just after 6 pm and was quickly on the scene. One of the lifeboat crew, Dr Will King, checked the man over before he was transferred to the lifeboat. He was then taken to Trinity Landing, Cowes, where an ambulance was waiting to convey him to Newport’s St Mary’s Hospital.

On the way to Cowes the injured man told the crew that dislocation of his shoulder was a recurring problem for him. The last time was when he fell on the yacht while celebrating St Patrick’s Day! But on that occasion he managed to put his shoulder back without the need of outside assistance.

The lifeboat, helmed by Laurie O’Callaghan, returned to station at 7.15 pm

Author: George Chastney

Cowes lifeboat tows boat out of harms way

The 20 foot Optumis was spotted by someone onshore near Gurnard Luck to have lost power from its main outboard engine, and was making little headway with a smaller auxiliary outboard.

The lifeboat, launched just after 7 pm, found the boat was taken eastwards by the flood tide and was now off Egypt Point. It was towed by the lifeboat across the Solent, to off the Hampshire shore, where it was judged to be safe enough to continue with the auxiliary to its Southampton mooring at the entrance to the River Itchen

Lifeboat helm Laurie OCallaghan, said: “Because the boat was so under-powered our initial concern was that it was in imminent ddanger of going aground on rocks off Egypt Point. We then did not want to see such a slow-moving craft crossing the main shipping lane.”

Author: George Chastney