Cowes RNLI Lifeboat Station

Lifeboat Joins in Late Night Search for Young Swimmers

7th June 2015

A massive search of the River Medina was launched late last night after several young people were reported to be in the water, possibly seeking to reach the Isle of Wight Festival site on the east bank at Seaclose.

After Solent Coastguards were alerted soon after 10 pm that young people were spotted in the river near Newport Rowing Club to the scene rushed Cowes RNLI lifeboat, the police launch Commander and coastguards from several areas of the Island. One of the swimmers, a girl, was rescued by a yacht and was eventually taken by ambulance to St Mary’s Hospital.

Using their powerful searchlights, the lifeboat and police launch began a thorough search of the water from Island Harbour to the Table Table pub/restaurant for what appeared to be three youths. Meanwhile, using torches, the land-based coastguard units searched both banks. Also later joining in the search, with its own powerful beam, was the coastguard helicopter from Lee on Solent .

Eventually the search was called off without any sign of the other young people. Then, as the lifeboat was returning to station it escorted a yacht which was taking on water after losing its propeller shaft. At the time the yacht was being towed by a launch, which took the craft to the fuel berth at Cowes where it could be made reasonably watertight.

The lifeboat returned to station shortly before 1 am. However one crew member, Mark Harker, spent another hour sorting out problems with the port outboard engine, partly caused by weed and mud encountered when the search took the lifeboat into shallow waters.

Author: George Chastney, Lifeboat Press Officer