30th December 2016
For the second time within 15 hours Cowes RNLI lifeboat was called to craft in trouble in a fog-blanketed Solent.
The first shout occurred just after midnight when two people aboard the 21 foot fishing vessel Arctic Tern, without navigation equipment, told UK Coastguards it was lost in fog. Their last reported position was near East Knoll Buoy, near the mouth of Southampton Water.
The Arctic Tern was first located at 54 minutes past minutes after midnight by a Southampton Harbour patrol vessel. The lifeboat arrived soon afterwards and proceeded to carefully escort the boat through the fog and darkness to a mooring in the River Medina, off the Folly. There coastguards were waiting to give the crew some safety advice.
The lifeboat eventually returned to station at 2.05 am.
The second call-out involved a 60 foot luxury motor-vessel, Zeus, with its propeller entangled in the chain of a mooring buoy, beyond the East Cowes breakwater. The lifeboat launched at 1.50 pm and was soon on the scene, where they found two men and a woman aboard the vessel.
After an hour or so on the scene the lifeboat helm Neil Archer eventually decided the best way to free the motor launch was to unshackle the mooring chain. This he did by jumping into the water and going underneath the stern swim deck. The loose chain was then secured to a life buoy from the motor-cruiser and the mooring buoy was taken aboard the lifeboat.
As the skipper of the motor-cruiser was determined to then return to Hamble Point Marina, the Neil Archer decided that for safety sake they should provide an escort across the foggy Solent to the mouth of the River Hamble.
After disposing of the mooring buoy at Shepards Wharf Marina the Cowes lifeboat returned to station at 3.45 pm.
Author: George Chastney, Lifeboat Press Officer