Cowes Lifeboat Station

Cowes Lifeboat Involved in Serious Head Injury Incident

1st July 2016

The injured man is conveyed from the yacht on a spinal board by ambulance personnel. The yacht can be seen on the outside of the landing.

The injured man is conveyed from the yacht on a spinal board by ambulance personnel. The yacht can be seen on the outside of the landing.

Cowes RNLI lifeboat was launched after a yachtsman received serious head injuries while the crew were practising in the Solent for tomorrow’s Round the Island Race.

The incident occurred just outside Cowes Harbour when the eight person Farnham-based crew of the 40 foot Sunsail ocean racer No 4014 were carrying out gybe exercises in the brisk south-westerly wind.

It appears that the man, in his 30s, was violently thrown on to a winch handle by a taut rope. As he lay unconscious and profusely bleeding it was then found that the yacht could not proceed to shore under its own power because a rope had fouled the propeller.

Following a May Day call to Solent Coastguards the coastguard helicopter was launched as a precaution. However, the yacht was successfully taken in tow by a passing rib skippered by Robbie Southwell, son of operations manager of Cowes lifeboat, Mark.

As the yacht was being towed to Trinity Landing, Cowes, the lifeboat whose crew had been on stand-by, was launched and proceeded to the landing. There one of the lifeboat crew members, Dr Will King, went aboard to give medical assistance. The man was eventually taken by ambulance to St Mary’s Hospital, Newport.

The lifeboat, which launched at 4.36 pm, returned to station at 5.25 pm.

Author: George Chastney, Lifeboat Press Officer.

Photo Credit: Cowes RNLI.