A training exercise turned into a live rescue when Cowes RNLI lifeboat was asked to assist a 35ft yacht experiencing difficulties in the deteriorating weather conditions in the eastern Solent on Sunday morning, 23 September.
The lifeboat was returning to station after a two and a half hour training exercise when it was asked by Solent Coastguard to assist a yacht, Sunwind experiencing difficulties while on passage from Lymington to Hythe due to a rigging failure and an ageing engine which was struggling to make headway into the worsening weather.
Cowes lifeboat helm, Richard O’Callaghan said: “To top it all the electrics were on the yacht were working intermittently so we could not establish good communications with the vessel or get an accurate fix on their location. Fortunately another yacht, Arctic Breeze, was able to stand by and assist the lifeboat in locating the stricken yacht as the visibility on the Solent closed in”.
Once the yacht was located Crewman, James Chillman, was put aboard Sunwind to ensure the three persons on board were safe and well and the yacht was taken under tow by the lifeboat to the mouth of Southampton Water, where the tow was transferred to Calshott RNLI Lifeboat for the remainder of the journey to Hythe.
The lifeboat returned to station at 1320 and had been out for a total of four hours.
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