Photo: Jason Clarke/RNLI


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Bembridge RNLI’s All Weather Lifeboat responded to reports of a life raft drifting off the coast of the Isle of Wight this afternoon (Friday).

The Tamar-class lifeboat launched at around 15:50 at the request of Solent Coastguard to investigate a report by the ‘City of Cardiff’. It was said that a florescent yellow single man liferaft had been sighted not far from one of moored tankers to the north of Bembridge’s boathouse. The Coastguard were unable to contact the tanker.

It only took the Alfred Albert Williams’ volunteer lifeboat crew a couple of minutes to reach the area, locate and secure the unmanned raft onboard.

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Having ascertained that there were no identification symbols on the raft and no indication that the raft had been occupied, Solent Coastguard agreed with the assessment by the crew that the raft had probably blown off its parent vessel and inflated and that no one was in trouble.

The lifeboat returned to Bembridge and after a challenging recovery in the NW F7 breeze. It was rehoused by 16:30.

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