Cowes RNLI lifeboat raced to the aid of four teenagers judged to be in real danger aboard a 16 foot dinghy in the Solent last night (Tuesday).
The youngsters, two youths and two girls with ages between 17 and 19, had set off from Newport in their blue and pink craft, named Princess, with the intention of paddling their way down the River Medina and then four miles eastwards in the Solent to Wootton. But while the ebb tide ensured good progress down the river they quickly found the tide was well against them in the Solent.
They had got no further than off The Shrape, East Cowes, before an on-shore policeman decided to alert Solent Coastguards that they could soon be in real trouble.
When the lifeboat arrived on the scene just after 21:00, they found none of the teenagers – two from East Cowes and two from Wootton, were wearing lifejackets and, with twilight fast approaching, their boat carried no lights. All four were immediately transferred to the lifeboat and they and their boat taken to East Cowes Marina.
The 19 year old told the lifeboat crew he had only purchased Princess that day and decided to take it and his friends for a trip. On arrival at marina the lifeboat helm, Laurie O’Callaghan, gave him some sea safety advice in the hope that future voyages would be uneventful.