11th August 2021
News of a fire aboard a RIB just outside Cowes Harbour led to the launching of Cowes RNLI lifeboat this (Wednesday) evening.
The RIB, carrying a man and a woman, reported the emergency when it was just off the harbour breakwater. The couple apparently put the fire out with an extinguisher before the first outside assistance arrived, provided by a training vessel. Although the training vessel started towing the RIB, this task was soon taken over by Cowes lifeboat, with the RIB taking on board crew member Mat Randall.
Lifeboat helm Ady Stothard kept Cowes Harbour Master and Coastguards informed of the on-going situation, including when optimism turned to renewed concern as smoke suddenly emitted from the RIB’s electrics.
It was decided that the safest option would be to beach the RIB on the shore west of Cowes Castle and await the arrival of the fire brigade; only after they had carried out a thorough check did Cowes lifeboat tow the RIB to Trinity Landing.
The lifeboat had been on the service for one and a half hours, having launched at 6.30 pm.