Missing Jet-Ski Brother Sparks Major Solent Search

11th November 2020

The growing concern of a man for his missing brother sparked a land and sea search of the Solent and Southampton Water area last (Tuesday) evening, of which Cowes RNLI lifeboat was just one of the searchers.

HM Coastguards had received a phone call from the ‘very distressed’ man who had come ashore at Princes Green, Cowes, stating that he and his brother had both taken to the water in Southampton with jet-skis. Now he just had no idea about the whereabouts of his brother, and was increasingly worried for his safety.

Cowes lifeboat launched at 5.45 pm, to carry out a search in the fading light between Lepe and Calshot; also involved were Calshot RNLI lifeboat, together with land-based coastguard teams from both sides of the Solent, plus the police.

Eventually, at 6.14 pm, the jet-ski was found moored alongside a fishing boat, with the missing man aboard, safe and well. Both man and his jet-ski were then taken by Cowes lifeboat back to the brothers’ point of departure, in the River Itchen.

Cowes lifeboat returned to station at 8.30 pm.

Cowes Lifeboat Races to Rescue Drifting Fishermen

29th October 2020

The Cowes RNLI lifeboat crew ensured that two-men aboard a powerless fishing boat did not have to linger long in a wind-swept shipping lane this afternoon.

The boat had suffered engine failure in a Force 6-7 south-westerly and was drifting on the tide in the Solent, one mile north-west of Cowes Harbour. This was an area where commercial shipping took a sharp turn at speed.

Fortunately, the lifeboat reached them well before any ships passed through, and towed their boat to the safety of Trinity Landing.

The lifeboat which had launched just after 2.30 pm, was soon back at the station. “Job done in just 45 minutes,” said an appreciative station operations manager, Mark Southwell.


Cowes RNLI Sends Bon Voyage Messages to Brave Natasha

10th October 2020

Goodwill messages from Cowes RNLI lifeboat station have been sent to quadraplegic cerebral palsy sufferer Natasha Lambert, as she helps crew a specially adapted yacht for a gruelling crossing of the Atlantic.

The 3,000-mile crossing from Gran Canaria to St Lucia, aboard the yacht Blown Away, is to raise £30,000, to be divided between three charities: the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, the MissIsle School of Sip Puff Sailing, and Cowes RNLI.

Natasha, who lives near Cowes, has already won wide-spread admiration for using a sip and puff control system designed by her father to control a boat on various feats of endurance.

A message from Cowes station’s operations manager Mark Southwell states, ‘First the Solent, then round the Island, followed by across the Channel.  Now this….

‘Lifeboat crews well understand what it takes to be at sea, and we have nothing but admiration for you and your crew. Safe sailing, Tash, and fair winds!’  

A general message from the station reads: ‘Everyone at Cowes RNLI sends a heart-felt bon voyage message to you as you set off on your biggest maritime challenge to date.

‘The station is honoured to again to be chosen as a beneficiary of your wonderful fund-raising. Already we are most grateful for the money raised from your past amazing exploits on the sea, which paid for the station’s kitchen and the extra-large TV screen used for training purposes.

‘Be sure all of us at the station will eagerly follow your progress.

‘May you and your fellow-crew members complete the crossing both safely and enjoyably!’

Lifeboat Responds to Concerns Over Windsurfer

9th October 2020

A windsurfer spotted by on-lookers to be off his board and apparently struggling in the sea off Gurnard led to the launching of Cowes RNLI lifeboat this evening.

People ashore raised the alarm after seeing that the man had come off his board and seemed to be in difficulty as he drifted westwards in the tide.

After launching at 4.15 pm the lifeboat crew, however, found he had in fact managed to swim close to the beach at the Little Gloster without assistance; they then merely stood by as a precaution until reached the shore – bringing the surf-board with him.

The lifeboat returned to station at 4.40 pm.  

Abandoned Dinghy Leads to Massive Lifeboat Search

26th September 2020

The finding of a dinghy, with an outboard engine and oars attached, against a sea-wall at East Cowes, sparked an exhaustive search by Cowes lifeboat today.

The search, in bitterly cold winds, began at 8.29 am and lasted a total of three and a half hours; during this time the lifeboat meticulously searched the Solent between East Cowes and Egypt Point, plus Cowes Harbour and the River Medina as far as The Folly. 

No-one was found, however, and eventually the four-person crew returned to station.

Investigations revealed that the dinghy had been based at Shepards Marina, alongside a yacht. It was later returned there by a Cowes Harbour Commission launch.

Back home after the massive search lifeboat helmsman Jason Hughes, said, “The wind chill factor meant that it was very cold. Now all I want is a hot drink and a hot bath!”

He said one thing they did find in the river was a motorboat that had sunk at a pile mooring. This was reported to Coastguards.

In view of the unusually long search by the volunteers aboard the lifeboat and ashore the lifeboat station stood down from service for a few hours.

VIDEO: Cowes Lifeboat Responds to Motorboat in Triple-Trouble

25th September, 2020

Three men aboard a 25-foot motorboat who experienced trouble, three times, over on a wind-swept Solent this afternoon were saved from more serious problems by Cowes RNLI lifeboat.

First an electrical fault put the engine out of action in a Force 7 north-westerly between East Cowes and Fishbourne, then deployment of the boat’s two anchors failed to prevent the craft being driven closer to the rock-strewn shore. 

A crew member alerted both Coastguards and Cowes lifeboat’s Station Manager, Mark Southwell, of their plight. 

After launching at 2.15 pm the lifeboat was soon on the scene and took the motorboat in tow for Cowes Harbour. There it was given shelter by Shepards Marina, and the lifeboat returned to station at 3.25 pm.

It was the second tow-in performed by Cowes lifeboat this week. On Wednesday it went to the aid of a 30-foot yacht struggling to make headway a mile west of Cowes. 

Although initially Calshot RNLI’s D Class lifeboat had first spotted the problem, its crew decided Cowes’ more powerful Atlantic 85 lifeboat was best suited for the rescue. The yacht, on passage from Yarmouth to Cowes, was taken into Shepards Marina. Coincidentally both Calshot and Cowes lifeboat were already afloat at the time of the emergency, undergoing training/assessment exercises

VIDEO: Cowes Lifeboat Goes to Aid of Rock Damaged Motorboat

20th September 2020

A crippled motorboat carrying three men that was being pushed on to rocks at East Cowes last (Saturday) night became the focus of the latest rescue operation by Cowes RNLI lifeboat.

The Hamble-based 19-foot motorboat had apparently carried the men to various locations on both sides of the Solent before they ran into serious engine trouble near Castle Point, East Cowes. 

Having launched just before 11 pm, the lifeboat found the 33-year-old owner cold and wet from jumping into the sea in an effort push the powerless boat away from rocks.

After towing the motorboat clear of the hazardous shore the lifeboat carried out an alongside tow to Trinity Landing. There the owner was quickly provided with a blanket from the lifeboat station. Also at Trinity Landing were members of the Ventnor coastguard team.

The lifeboat returned to station just after midnight. 

Lifeboat helm, Myles Hussey, said, “We got as close to the East Cowes shore as we could before one of our crew, Mark Crook, jumped into the water and took a tow line across to the motorboat.

“The men had been unable to start their engine because the key had broken in the ignition,” said Myles. “We also found that the boat had suffered damage to the port bow and propeller.”

VIDEO: Cowes Lifeboat Passes a Notable Call-Out Milestone

17th September 2020

Cowes RNLI lifeboat this (Thursday) evening passed its 600th ‘shout’ since the life-saving charity began operations in the town in 2008.

First it went to the aid of a motorboat and later a yacht – both in potentially life-threatening trouble in the choppy conditions.

The crew were alerted to the first emergency – the 600th – in a unique way; because of the coronavirus they were undergoing their weekly crew meeting at the time, away from the station, through Zoom.

Coastguards had informed Station Operations Manager, Mark Southwell, that a 24-foot motorboat was grounded on rocks on the east side of Thorness Ledge, and the two people aboard were in urgent need of assistance in failing light and a heavy swell. 

After launching at 7.25 pm the lifeboat located the craft, also being monitored from the shore by Needles and Ventnor coastguard teams.  

So began the long process of escorting it back to its base at Town Quay, Southampton. Despite the motor-boat’s navigation lights failing off Fawley the lifeboat completed the task, and finally returned to the Cowes station at 9.55 pm.

But just as the crew were washing down the lifeboat on the slipway there came a second alert, this time involving a 27-foot yacht with two people aboard; they radioed they had engine trouble.

The stricken yacht’s location on the edge of the main shipping channel, off Old Castle Point, East Cowes was helpfully pinpointed by a searchlight used by the pilot aboard the passing giant car-carrier, Auto Energy. Eventually the lifeboat towed the yacht to Trinity Landing, Cowes.

As well as the station now exceeding the 600 ‘shouts’, the two operations meant that since Cowes RNLI took over from the town’s independent lifeboat in 2008 it had assisted no fewer than 753 people – men, women and, just occasionally, children.  

Night-Time Exercise Turned into Reality for Cowes Lifeboat

16th September 2020

The yacht is brought alongside Trinity Landing by Cowes lifeboat.

A routine exercise for the crew of Cowes RNLI lifeboat turned into something more serious last (Tuesday) night when it was tasked to tow a small sailing vessel that had been in difficulty in Stokes Bay.

Having initially headed into the Solent for a towing exercise, the Cowes crew was tasked soon after 9 pm by Coastguards to take over the tow of the sailing boat from Gosport’s independent lifeboat.  It appeared the sailing boat’s crew had been unable to proceed to Cowes in the dark.

Cowes lifeboat, helmed by Myles Hussey, duly towed the craft to Trinity Landing, with a lifeboat crew member aboard, where it was met by a Needles Coastguard team and the lifeboat shore crew.

Stranded Anglers Catch a Welcome Lifeboat

31st August 2020

The fishing boat is towed to Cowes (credit John Green)

A fishing expedition into the Solent by a three-some aboard a 23-foot motor cruiser this afternoon ended up with them catching an unexpected but welcome tow from Cowes RNLI lifeboat.

After apparently landing just a single bass off Egypt Point the two men and a woman aboard the motor yacht were unable to restart their engine. 

The lifeboat launched at 3.40 pm and after arriving on the scene found the boat’s water pump had failed. So began a tow up the River Medina, to the boat’s mooring at the Folly. 

The lifeboat returned to the lifeboat station at 4.50 pm.