Cowes lifeboat launched after serious head injury incident

Lifeboats News Release

Cowes RNLI lifeboat was launched after a yachtsman received serious head injuries while the crew were practising in the Solent for tomorrow’s Round the Island Race.

 The incident occurred just outside Cowes Harbour when the eight person Farnham-based crew of the 40 foot Sunsail ocean racer No 4014 were carrying out gybe exercises in the brisk south-westerly wind.


It appears that the man, in his 30s, was violently thrown on to a winch handle by a taut rope. As he lay unconscious and profusely bleeding it was then found that the yacht could not proceed to shore under its own power because a rope had fouled the propeller.


Following a May Day call to Solent Coastguards the coastguard helicopter was launched as a precaution. However, the yacht was successfully taken in tow by a passing rib skippered by Robbie Southwell, son of operations manager of Cowes lifeboat, Mark.


As the yacht was being towed to Trinity Landing, Cowes, the lifeboat whose crew had been on stand-by, was launched and proceeded to the landing. There one of the lifeboat crew members, Dr Will King, went aboard to give medical assistance. The man was eventually taken by ambulance to St Mary’s Hospital, Newport.


The lifeboat, which launched at 4.36 pm, returned to station at 5.25 pm.


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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, in a normal year, 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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