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Cowes RNLI lifeboat saves yacht drifting without lights in shipping lane

Lifeboats News Release

A yacht that suffered a complete night-time power failure in the Solent’s shipping lane led to the urgent launching of Cowes RNLI lifeboat.

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The 26 foot Iszare had suffered the potentially dangerous breakdown between Osborne Bay and Fishbourne, near Peel Bank, yesterday (Saturday 26 November) evening. The lone sailor aboard found he had no power, lights or VHF radio after several abortive attempts to start the boat’s engine.

The man, who had been sailing from Southampton to Hayling Island, anxiously alerted the UK Coastguards of his plight via his mobile phone.

News of an unlit yacht drifting in the shipping lane particularly concerned Southampton’s port authority because of the impending arrival in the area of a large ship.

The lifeboat launched at 8pm and managed to locate the yacht through lifeboat crew member Anne Simkin picking out its silhouette against the illuminated Ryde Pier further to the east.

After the yacht was towed to Trinity Landing, Cowes, the lifeboat returned to station at 9.15pm.

RNLI media contacts

  • George Chastney, Cowes RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Tel 07970 009986 email
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

Key facts about the RNLI

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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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland