The independent lifeboat launched at 14:13 to carry out a training exercise, but at at 15:29 Solent Coastguard tasked SSILB to attend a 5.5 metre fishing vessel ‘White Rum’, which had suffered power failure and could not start its engine around 400 yards west of the Nab Tower with four people on board, a total of three adults and one child.
The volunteer crew of SSILB made way at full speed to the location given, arriving on scene in just 15 minutes before checking the vessel and its crew were all well. The lifeboat’s Coxswain, Richard Chantler, went on-board to carry out checks and inspect the engine to see if he could get it started – with no luck due to the lack of battery power.
A tow line was established to take FV White Rum back to her home port of Hayling Island near Portsmouth and the Coxswain placed a crew member on board to keep observations from the casualty vessel and all persons on board.
The Lifeboat arrived at the entrance to Hayling Island at 16:10, taking the stricken vessel from a long tow down to a hip tow and before taking White Rum to the slipway at the end of Ferry Road. Portsmouth Coastguard Rescue Team were on hand.
Much to the pleasant surprise of the crew, the boat owner kindly made a donation to the charity as he was surprised that SSILB are an independent lifeboat service. The crew had thanked the owner, who was very pleased with the professional assistance.
SSILB returned back to Sandown, was refuelled, washed down and re-housed – ready for the next tasking. The crew finally left the station at 20:53.