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Cowes lifeboat involved in two rescues in foggy Solent

Lifeboats News Release

For the second time within 15 hours Cowes RNLI lifeboat was called to craft in trouble in a fog-blanketed Solent.

RNLI/Cowes lifeboat

Neil Archer involved in the operation to unshackle the mooring buoy chain.

The first shout occurred just after midnight when two people aboard the 21 foot fishing vessel Arctic Tern, without navigation equipment, told UK Coastguards it was lost in fog. Their last reported position was near East Knoll Buoy, near the mouth of Southampton Water.

The Arctic Tern was first located at 54 minutes past minutes after midnight by a Southampton Harbour patrol vessel. The lifeboat arrived soon afterwards and proceeded to carefully escort the boat through the fog and darkness to a mooring in the River Medina, off the Folly. There coastguards were waiting to give the crew some safety advice.

The lifeboat eventually returned to station at 2.05 am.

The second call-out involved a 60 foot luxury motor-vessel, Zeus, with its propeller entangled in the chain of a mooring buoy, beyond the East Cowes breakwater. The lifeboat launched at 1.50 pm and was soon on the scene, where they found two men and a woman aboard the vessel.

After an hour or so on the scene the lifeboat helm Neil Archer eventually decided the best way to free the motor launch was to unshackle the mooring chain. This he did by jumping into the water and going underneath the stern swim deck. The loose chain was then secured to a life buoy from the motor-cruiser and the mooring buoy was taken aboard the lifeboat.

As the skipper of the motor-cruiser was determined to then return to Hamble Point Marina, the Neil Archer decided that for safety sake they should provide an escort across the foggy Solent to the mouth of the River Hamble.

After disposing of the mooring buoy at Shepards Wharf Marina the Cowes lifeboat returned to station at 3.45 pm.


RNLI media contact

  • George Chastney, Cowes RNLI Volunteer Press Officer 07530 254052/
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) 0207 6207425/ 07785 296252/
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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