13th August 2015
Cowes lifeboat damaged one its propellers in a bid to assist a Cowes Week competitor firmly aground on rocks this afternoon.
The Contessa 32, Drumbeat, with six people on board, had fallen foul of rocks off Gurnard, and ended up at an acute angle as the tide receded.
After the lifeboat crew resisted the idea of trying to tow the yacht off the rocks it was agreed they should take on board the yacht’s anchor by transferring it across by rope. The anchor was then deployed further offshore so that the yacht could have more purchase when the tide eventually came in.
While undertaking this operation the lifeboat was itself also in real danger of being marooned on the rocks. It was only through two crew members jumping into the shallow water and giving the craft a hefty push that it floated free again.
However it was during the anchor operation that one of the lifeboat’s two propellers, costing some £200 a time, was slightly damaged on an undersea rock. After the lifeboat returned to station the damaged one was quickly replaced.
A second regatta competitor finished up on rocks between Cowes and Gurnard this afternoon. The Sunsail 4020, with seven people on board, came to grief nearer Cowes, but they preferred to wait for the next tide without seeking outside help.
Author: George Chastney, Lifeboat Press Officer
Photo Credit: Cowes RNLI