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cruiserleakDuty called twice-over for Cowes RNLI lifeboat yesterday evening (Monday), when it was twice launched to go to the aid of a luxury motor-cruiser that had been hurriedly driven into shallow waters after springing an alarming mid-Solent leak.

The alarm was first raised around 16:40 when Solent Coastguards reported the motor-cruiser, the leaking 32 foot Katraia, was near the Island shore, between Castle Point and Osborne Bay. On arrival at the scene the lifeboat found the receding tide meant the craft was now stuck hard and fast on the beach. Normally based in Wootton Creek, the motor-cruiser was carrying a couple, a young man and a dog.

The leakage was apparently caused by the failure of a pipe, as a result of a small fire which had soon died away. The lifeboat remained at the scene until the arrival of Bembridge Coastguard Team, when it then returned to station.

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The lifeboat was, however, launched again at 22:40 to be on hand when the Katraia, now with the hole temporarily plugged, refloated on the rising tide. When this finally occurred just after midnight the lifeboat then towed the motor-cruiser to a pontoon just inside Wootton Creek belonging to the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.

The lifeboat finally returned to station at 01:30 this morning – nearly nine hours after the first call-out.

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