It was a busy start to the day for the volunteer crew of Yarmouth RNLI yesterday (Thursday) with two calls in the space of just five hours.
The crew were alerted at 03:45 by Solent Coastguard to a six metre RIB which had run out of fuel a mile West of Yarmouth. Within minutes the Severn class all weather lifeboat (ALB), Eric and Susan Hiscock (Wanderer), was launched and made it’s way West towards Fort Victoria.
With communications proving difficult with the RIB, the lifeboat crew rigged up search lights and night vision and within a few minutes the stranded vessel was located.
As the lifeboat approached the RIB, with four persons on board, it became apparent straight away that were under the influence of alcohol. A crew member was put on board to establish a tow, and the four young men were transferred onto the lifeboat and taken back to Yarmouth Harbour.
The casualties then informed the crew that they had planned to leave Cowes and head back to Lymington, but had missed the entrance to Lymington Harbour and ran out of fuel just north off Fort Victoria.
Acting coxswain Miles Norris said:
“The four young men were extremely fortunate this morning, due to the fact that they had NO lifejackets, NO warm clothes and NO radio.
They had the wind and weather luckily on their side and should be thankful that we found them in time. We cannot make it any clearer that large quantities of alcohol and fast moving RIBs or any other boats are not a good combination”
The boat returned to station at 4.40am
It wasn’t but four hours later when the pagers sounded once again, alerting the crew to 29ft yacht ‘Conspiracy’, thirty miles South West off The Needles Lighthouse.
The yacht reported to Solent Coastguard that they had become caught in a pot marker and were anchored firmly to the bottom of the sea bed.
The volunteer lifeboat crew once again launched the all weather lifeboat (ALB) to assist the three persons on board. The crew were launched at 08:32 and reached the casualties at 10:10.
The crew deployed their small inflatable Y-boat, with two crew on board, to assess the situation. The Y-boat returned to the lifeboat to collect equipment for freeing the yacht.
Within minutes, the pot marker was cut loose and all lines cleared from the propeller.
After checking that the prop shaft could rotate again freely, the engine was restarted and the yacht’s crew were more than happy to make their way back to Gosport with no assistance.
Yarmouth RNLI stood down and returned to Yarmouth Harbour, arriving at 12:30, ready for operation once again at 13:00.