Tangled Spinnaker Leads to Man Overboard Emergency

15th August 2019

A tangled spinnaker turned out to be the least of the problems for the five
people crewing a Cowes Week yacht, resulting in several craft, including
Cowes RNLI lifeboat, rushing to its aid.

The spinnaker-tangling occurred aboard a J/80 keelboat in brisk winds, in the area of Ryde Middle bank. It appeared the yacht had tipped flat onto the sea when a crew member climbed the mast to try to free the recalcitrant sail, resulting in him crashing into the water.

Cowes lifeboat was tasked around 2 pm by Coastguards to assist the independent Gosport lifeboat, already on the scene.

With one of a crew member needing medical attention, the now re-righted craft was eventually taken in tow to Shepards Marina, Cowes, by a Cowes Week committee boat; there the yacht was met by Isle of Wight coastguards and ambulance personnel.

The same yacht also needed help in last year’s Cowes Week, when it lost its rudder.