Cowes RNLI lifeboat and Newport Coastguard were tasked to assist the vessel after HM Coastguard received reports that the pleasure boat had run aground on the River Medina – but the stranded crew didn’t know their location.
After locating the vessel, two of the lifeboat crew – Graham Creagh and Peter Murphy-Latham – had to negotiate waist-high mud to reach the motor-cruiser, the Lady Matilda. After it was considered too dangerous for the occupants to be transferred ashore across the mud bank, there then followed an hour-long battle to refloat the cruiser in a receding tide.
Finally, with the help of a long tow-rope attached to the lifeboat the cruiser was dragged into deeper water, enabling it to be towed to the Folly pontoon.
None of the occupants were wearing lifejackets and did not have a VHF radio on board. The occupants included a heavily-pregnant lady and 3 children.
A spokesperson for Newport Coastguard said:
“We would advise that you are readily prepared to go to sea ensuring you have a working vhf radio, sufficient amount of life jackets, and flares, especially with the upcoming summer months.
“In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the coastguard or call for help on channel 16 using a VHF radio”.