Cowes Lifeboat and Helicopter in Yachtsman Emergency

17th July 2021

A man suffering from serious chest pains aboard a yacht in Newtown Creek led to a rescue operation late yesterday (Friday) evening, involving Cowes RNLI lifeboat and the Coastguard helicopter.

The lifeboat had been out in the Solent for crew assessment when just before 9 pm it was diverted from Stanswood Bay to the emergency. On arrival they found the man and a woman aboard a yacht.

The man was tended by a woman paramedic from a passing yacht and the winchman from the Coastguard helicopter, who had first been lowered to the lifeboat. Also put aboard the yacht were two lifeboat crew members.

The couple were eventually transferred by the lifeboat to the helicopter, which had landed on a nearby shingle beach. They were then flown to a hospital in Southampton.C

Cowes Lifeboat Goes to the Aid of Sick Girl

9th July 2021

A semi-conscious girl aboard a training yacht sparked a call for help to Cowes RNLi lifeboat yesterday (Thurs) evening.

The lifeboat had been on a training exercise in the Solent when alerted to the yacht, in Osborne Bay. Two lifeboat members went aboard to assess the girl’s condition; eventually the yacht was escorted to Trinity Landing, where an ambulance was waiting to take her to hospital.

The lifeboat’s routine training evening looked to be further disrupted when police asked the lifeboat to assist in a search for a missing person. However, this time the lifeboat was soon stood down.

Before the two shouts lifeboat members were able to inspect the latest Shannon Class lifeboat, moored at Trinity Landing in connection with that evening’s Cowes Classic Week prize-giving at the Royal London Yacht Club. Among those attending was the RNLI’s chief executive, Mark Dowie – who also was one of the prize-winners.

Cowes RNLI Crew onboard the visiting Shannon Class Lifeboat with volunteers of other RNLI stations and RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie.

Cowes Lifeboat Has a Weekend of Call-Outs

4th July 2021

Cowes lifeboat stands off as crew members of both Cowes and Calshot lifeboats are pictured aboard the 40-foot yacht on Saturday, to provide assistance.


Cowes RNLI lifeboat had a busy weekend, providing safety cover and being called to help yachts in difficulties.

On Saturday the lifeboat joined with other lifeboats to provide safety cover for the Island Sailing Club’s 90th Round the Island Race, attracting entries of over 1,000 yachts. Between 6 am and 7 pm three patrols were mounted by the station, each with different crews.

Cowes lifeboat’s services were, however, only required in the afternoon – after a headsail on a 40-foot yacht was jammed and the engine failed to start. The yacht was assisted to a mooring off Cowes, to await a tow-in from a Cowes Harbour launch; then the lifeboat was tasked to go the aid of yacht which had been damaged in a two-boat collision.

First to reach the yacht, off Calshot Spit, was the Calshot lifeboat, who requested that Cowes lifeboat put aboard two crew members, one of them a doctor, to give casualty care to a yachtsman who had a chest injury. The yacht, which had a damaged hull above the waterline, was towed by Calshot lifeboat to Hamble Point Marina for an emergency lift. The injured crew member did not require further treatment.

Then today (Sunday) Cowes lifeboat was tasked to go to a 32-foot yacht which had gone aground on the Bramble Bank at the entrance of Southampton Water. On board were two men – one of whom had a mild head injury – two women, and a 15-year-old girl.

So hard-aground was the yacht that the lifeboat failed in an attempt to tow it off. Although it had been planned to take three of the people, including the girl, back to Cowes, the yacht was eventually ‘bounced’ afloat by a wave. Then with everyone back on board, it was able to proceed to Hythe.

Yet another ‘shout’ for Cowes lifeboat came this evening when it was tasked to go to the aid of a small sailing boat apparently in trouble off Seaview. But as the lifeboat was on its way to the scene, Coastguards told them they were not needed after all. E

Holed Yacht Gets Urgent Assistance from Cowes Lifeboat

26th June 2021

A 34 foot yacht which sprang a leak after apparently hitting a rock between Gurnard and Thorness, led to Cowes RNLI lifeboat racing to its aid this evening.

After the holing the yacht, with five people aboard, attempted to make its way across the Solent back to its home port of Hamble. As water gushed through the damaged hull the lifeboat was duly summoned by Solent Coastguards, and reached the yacht just off Calshot Spit.

“On our arrival it became clear, after raising the floor, there was an urgent need to put aboard our pump,” said the lifeboat helm, Jason Hughes.

“The pumping must have lasted for about half an hour, during which time we towed the yacht to Hamble Point Marina; there it was met by Hamble harbour master and a Coastguard rescue team, and was quickly lifted out of the water.”

The casualty vessel is brought in for an emergency lift at Hamble Point Marina.

The lifeboat had launched at 6.45 pm and returned to station at 9.30 pm.

Cowes Lifeboat Responds to Fire Fears Aboard Motor-cruiser

15th May 2021

The motor-cruiser is helped into Cowes Harbour by the lifeboat.

A smoking motor-cruiser led to the launching of Cowes RNLI lifeboat today (Sat).

The alarm was raised by a man aboard a 31-foot motor-cruiser after seeing smoke pouring from the engine.  The motor-cruiser was on its way to a mainland destination following refurbishment work at a River Medina boat-yard, and was accompanied by a RIB helmed by the man’s son.

After dealing with the smoke with an onboard extinguisher the man transferred to the RIB to await the arrival of assistance.

Cowes lifeboat, which had launched at 12.50 pm, eventually gave the motor-cruiser an alongside tow to Trinity Landing at Cowes where it was met by local firemen, coastguard teams from Bembridge and The Needles, and Cowes Harbour personnel. 

Cowes lifeboat returned to station at 2.40 pm.

Cowes Lifeboat Goes to Aid of Unconscious Yachtswoman

24th April 2021

A 25-year-old woman who sustained injuries while sailing a dinghy in the River Medina led to the launching of Cowes RNLI lifeboat this afternoon.

The woman had apparently fallen backwards as she attempted to sail in a brisk south-easterly wind, and during the incident twice knocked her head and received pelvic injuries as well as a possible spinal injury.

The lifeboat, which launched at 2 pm, transferred the barely conscious woman from the Kingston Marina training pontoon to Kingston, East Cowes, where she was initially treated in an ambulance before the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance arrived on scene, although it was not required.

Hardly had the lifeboat returned to station, that at 3.20 pm it was launched again, this time in response to a report that a jet-skier had ended up in the water near the Cowes Harbour entrance. The emergency began when the jet-ski had broken down in and was taken in tow by a yacht, but had then capsized.

The man, who was given a blanket but declined any further treatment, was taken to Trinity Landing. Meanwhile the jet-ski was towed to Cowes by a local harbour commission launch.

Girl Needing Medical Care Taken Aboard Cowes Lifeboat

1st April 2021

The casualty is assisted onto the lifeboat.

Cowes RNLI lifeboat was launched late last (Wednesday) night to go to the aid of a 16-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis who became ill on a secluded beach at Gurnard.

The IW Ambulance Service were on scene along with the Needles Coastguard Rescue Team, as the terrain was too rough for a transfer on foot, Cowes Lifeboat was tasked to assist. After being helped on to the lifeboat she was brought to Trinity Landing where an ambulance was waiting on The Parade to take her to hospital.

The lifeboat launched at 11.20 pm and returned to station just after midnight.

Safety Concerns over Woman Sparks Major Solent Search

9th February 2021

Cowes lifeboat arrives off the Fishbourne terminal to begin its Solent search.

A full-scale air, sea and shore search was mounted in challenging wintry conditions at lunch-time today (Tuesday) over fears that a 30 year old woman might have disappeared overboard from a car ferry.

After reports that although the woman bought a ticket at Wightlink’s Fishbourne car ferry terminal it was believed she was not among the passengers who disembarked at Portsmouth.

Cowes RNLI lifeboat was launched just before 2pm to take part in an extensive search of the Solent, where the choppy sea was whipped up by a strong and bitterly cold easterly wind.

Also involved in the search were Ryde and Gosport independent lifeboats, Portsmouth lifeboat and the Lee on Solent coastguard helicopter. Meanwhile coastguard teams from Bembridge, Ventnor and Portsmouth were tasked to investigate the relevant shorelines.

Eventually the search was called off after police concluded that, contrary to what was first believed, she had after all disembarked at Portsmouth.

Cowes lifeboat returned to station just before 4 pm.

Personal Belongings Spark Major Solent Search

31st January 2021

Cowes RNLI lifeboat was part of an extensive search in darkness, lasting many hours, of a man whose personal belongings were found on the beach at Browndown, near Gosport on Saturday.

After the police requested the search, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency triggered a call-out of the RNLI lifeboats at Cowes and Calshot, the independent lifeboat at Gosport and the Lee on Solent based coastguard helicopter. In addition, the Hampshire shore was searched by coastguard teams from Portsmouth and Hillhead.

Cowes lifeboat was launched twice, first at 7.30 pm and again, with a fresh crew, two hours later.

But nothing was found by any of the searchers.

Then on Sunday Cowes lifeboat was tasked to attend an *incident in the harbour, launching at around 5 pm and returning to station about an hour later.

*Please refer to Hampshire Police for details of this incident.

Distress Flare Sparks Night-Time Solent Search

13th December 2020

Cowes Lifeboat launching to search

A red parachute distress flare, spotted by a fisherman on the Hampshire shore, at Hill Head, resulted in an extensive two-hour land and sea search of the Solent, in pitch dark, during the early hours of this morning.

Rather unusually, the fisherman’s emergency message to Coastguards was backed up on his mobile phone with a video of the flare.

Both Cowes RNLI lifeboat and the Ryde independent lifeboat were tasked for the search, together with the Ventnor coastguard team.  

The search patterns for the two lifeboats, with Cowes on the left.

Using their powerful onboard searchlights, the two lifeboats painstakingly searched an area of the Solent between Woodside Bay, Wootton and Osborne Bay. Where there was sufficient water because of the very low tide, Ryde lifeboat also searched Wootton Creek.

Meanwhile the relevant Solent and creek shoreline was searched by the coastguard team.

Eventually the whole search was called off, with nothing found. Cowes Lifeboat, which had launched at 1.50 am, returned to station two hours later.