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COWES RNLI lifeboat will be on the water virtually throughout the day, tomorrow, to help provide safety cover to the 1,647 strong fleet of yachts taking part in the annual Round the Island Race.

For the first time Cowes lifeboat will have three different sets of crews for the event, sponsored by J P Morgan Asset Management. This was considered necessary after last year’s Round the Island when Cowes and other lifeboats were at full stretch dealing with emergencies caused by the strong winds and choppy seas.

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The first four-person crew will arrive at the boathouse, beside The Parade, at 5.30 am for a final weather briefing by Deputy Launch Authority, Harry Leslie, and a crew briefing by the helm, Scott Armiger. After a 6 am launching the lifeboat, the brand new Atlantic 85 ‘Sheena Louise’, will patrol an area between the Cowes starting line and Gurnard Marsh.

Twenty minutes after the start he lifeboat will go alongside Trinity pontoon at 9 am. There a new crew, headed by Richard O’Callaghan, will be waiting to then follow the huge fleet westwards to Hurst Narrows.

The lifeboat will return to the boathouse at 12 noon, to refuel and stand-down. Providing there are no alerts in the meantime, the lifeboat will take to the Solent again at 1.30 pm, this time to patrol the area between Prince Consort Buoy and Wootton Creek. The lifeboat, then helmed by James Findlay, is due to return to the boathouse at 6 pm.

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