Bembridge RNLI’s All Weather Lifeboat was launched to assist a 15m sailing yacht in difficulty around 10 miles east of the Isle of Wight last night (Thursday).
The casualty vessel, which belongs to UKSA in Cowes, had 6 crew on board – 1 of whom had an injured wrist.
The yacht’s engine was not working and she only had limited steering. Although she had a headsail up, she was not making much progress to Cowes in the F6 SSE breeze and 3m swell.
The ‘Alfred Albert Williams’ Tamar-class Lifeboat reached the yacht at 21:10 and having discussed the options with the skipper it was initially decided to take her under tow to Bembridge. However, this was subsequently changed to Gosport Marina due to the state of the tide and the swell on the Boathouse slipway that would require the Lifeboat to delay her return until the tide had dropped.
Getting the tow connected was not easy as the yacht was lying beam on the sea and rocking gunwhale to gunwhale at times.
The Lifeboat and yacht eventually reached Gosport Marina at around 01:00 where they were met by Hillhead Coastguard Rescue Team and an ambulance.
The shout was prolonged as the ‘Alfred Albert Williams’ then remained alongside until 04:15, by which time conditions on the Boathouse slipway had moderated sufficiently for her to recover by 05:00.