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Busy start to Cowes Week with four shouts for Calshot RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

While preparing to launch both Calshot lifeboats for training exercises this morning (Sunday 30 July), the crew were alerted by the UK Coastguard to a number of Pan Pan calls (non urgent distress call) regarding several yachts aground on the Bramble Bank.

Both Calshot lifeboats launched to reports of vessels around at Bramble Bank.

RNLI/Joanne Pearson

Both Calshot lifeboats launched to reports of vessels around at Bramble Bank.

Initial reports suggested one of the vessels was becoming swamped due to the swell on the bank.

The D class inshore lifeboat was launched and proceeded to the bank whilst the Atlantic 85 lifeboat waited to take on a salvage pump then also proceeded to the bank.

On arrival the D class confirmed that multiple vessels had freed themselves, but one yacht, approximately 40ft long, was still hard aground. Due to the weather conditions and flooding tide on the bank the lifeboat crews decided to rig a tow to the stern of the casualty vessel and attempt to pull it clear. Once freed a crew member was placed on board the yacht to the check the hull for damage or water ingress. The yacht was then escorted towards Cowes harbour entrance and the D class returned to station.

Whilst passing the West Knoll Buoy the crew of the Atlantic 85 then spotted another 40ft yacht with no sails drifting towards Bramble Bank. Cowes Lifeboat was requested to continue with the escort of the first yacht to Cowes and the Atlantic then towed the second yacht off the bank. A crew member was placed on board the vessel and they were then escorted to Cowes yacht haven where a lift was arranged for the yacht to have its keel checked.

As the Atlantic was leaving Cowes the Harbour Master alerted the crew to a 20ft yacht run aground on the Shrape, an area of shallow water to the east of Cowes. The UK Coastguard were informed and the Atlantic then proceeded to manoeuvre into position and pulled the yacht into deeper water where it was happy to continue on its way to Cowes.

Calshot Helm, Tom Pedersen, said: 'The safety message here is make sure you are always aware of your boat's position and know the depth over charted hazards'.

The fourth incident of the day came when the Atlantic was returning to station and was alerted to a an upturned vessel with three persons in the water near Calshot. The Atlantic made best speed and the D class re-launched, reaching the casualty vessel first. It actually turned out to be an upturned jet ski with two people in the water, but both had managed to right the jet ski and get themselves back on board unaided.

Calshot Helm, Andy Headley said: 'Safety advice was given as neither person was wearing appropriate clothing for the conditions and only one was wearing a buoyancy aid'.


RNLI media contacts

  • Joanne Pearson, Lifeboat Press Officer, Calshot Lifeboat Station (07780) 457731, joannepe44@aol.com
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 tim_ash@rnli.org.uk
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207416, 07786 668825, paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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