Bembridge RNLI was tasked to assist both a 38ft yacht and 2 paddleboarders in 2 separate incidents this afternoon (Saturday).
The AllWeather Lifeboat – Alfred Albert Williams – was launched at around 16:15 at the request of Solent Coastguard to assist a 38ft yacht competing in RORC’s ‘Race the Wight’ that had been dismasted between St Catherine’s Point and Sandown Bay.
The 6 crew on board the casualty vessel had managed to cut the mast away and were under their own power back to Southampton by the time that the Tamar-class lifeboat had reached them at 16:25.
Conditions were bright with a South Westerly F5 breeze; sea conditions were slight.
The initial plan was to escort the yacht until safely past Bembridge, however, at 16:45 having confirmed all was ok, the Alfred Albert Williams was diverted to locate and assist 2 paddleboarders who were being blown out to sea just south of St Helens Fort.
It did not take them long to reach the area and locate the 2 paddleboarders.
The Y-boat was launched, however, there was just enough water for the Alfred Albert Wiliams to get close enough to the 2 paddlers and recover them and their boards straight onboard.
After recovering the Y-boat, the Alfred Albert Williams returned to the Offshore Boathouse, where the 2 paddleboarders were handed over the Bembridge Coastguard Rescue Team.
The Inshore Lifeboat was paged at 16:58 following a separate report of 2 kayakers in difficulty south of St Helens Fort. This transpired to be that the 2 kayakers were, in fact, the 2 paddleboarders. The launch was cancelled.