Cowes Lifeboat Station

Cowes Lifeboat Joins Rescue Mission After Yacht Dismasting

16th July 2018

Cowes and Gosport lifeboat members carry out an on-board assessment. The remains of the mast protrudes from the deck.

The towering mast on a 41-foot yacht came crashing down in mid-Solent
this (Monday) afternoon, leading to Cowes RNLI lifeboat and Gosport
lifeboat racing to the scene.

The mast, together with sails and rigging, was left hanging over the starboard
side of Amalie, though the four occupants of the yacht – two men and two
women – escaped injury.

Crew members from both lifeboats swarmed over the yacht, which was on
charter, to carry out a full assessment.

When a strenuous attempt to lift the mast back on to the yacht failed, it was
eventually decided that it, together with rigging and sails, should be cut free.
Cowes crew member Piers Tylor set to work with the task, using a hacksaw
and bolt cutter.

The separation from the yacht became more urgent when there were signs
the boat could soon be holed below the waterline by the mast rubbing against
the hull.

Mast, sails and rigging was finally allowed to sink to the sea bed although a
line attached to a marker buoy ensured they could all be safely recovered
later by a commercial vessel.

Cowes lifeboat started to to tow the crippled yacht to Haslar, but then the job
was taken over Gosport lifeboat.

Cowes lifeboat, with Laurie O’Callaghan at the helm, had been away from
station for nearly three hours, launching just after 2 pm and returning at 5 pm.