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Photo by Yarmouth RNLI
Photo: Yarmouth RNLI

VIDEO: Bembridge RNLI and Yarmouth RNLI are continuing to take turns to provide safety cover for the Russian cargo ship ‘Mekhanik Yartsev’, which remains in a listed position on the Solent tonight (Wednesday).

As first reported by Island Echo, Bembridge RNLI lifeboat launched at the request of Solent Coastguard yesterday afternoon (Boxing Day) to stand by the timber-carrying vessel amid fears the 13 crew on board would need to be evacuated.

Bembridge’s volunteer lifeboat crew kept a watch until 20:30 when Yarmouth RNLI then took over the safety patrol. Yarmouth’s Severn-class lifeboat and crew remained mid-Solent until Bembridge once again arrived to the north of East Cowes at 07:00 this morning.

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At around lunchtime today it was agreed that Bembridge’s Tamar-class All Weather Lifeboat could moor at Trinity Landing in Cowes whilst keeping immediate readiness. Colleagues from Cowes RNLI welcomed the Bembridge crew for refreshments.

The current plan is for Bembridge Lifeboat to remain in or around Cowes until around 21:00 tonight, when the ALB will return to station before Yarmouth RNLI take over to provide immediate readiness cover from Yarmouth.

Photo thanks to Sue Sibley

Assuming the weather continues to moderate, it is understood that the Mekhanik Yartsev will be escorted into Southampton tomorrow morning. It is likely that Bembridge RNLI will re-launch to cover the move.

John Keyworth, Lifeboat Operations Manager of Bembridge RNLI has said:

“Although not the most dramatic of rescues, this incident certainly has the potential to be very serious. We train for all scenarios and to be ready at a moment’s notice.

“The safety of the vessel’s crew is paramount so we will obviously remain on scene for as long as necessary”.

UPDATE THURSDAY @ 15:00 – The Mekhanik Yartsev has made it into the port of Southampton safely.

Yarmouth RNLI launched earlier this morning to stand by the vessel as it made its way up Southampton Waters under its own power.

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