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Cowes RNLI lifeboat assists speedboat caught in wrong sort of current

Lifeboats News Release

It was a night to remember for the volunteer crew of Cowes RNLI lifeboat, last night (16 April) – full of frustration and challenge - when they were alerted by the UK Coastguard to a speedboat in trouble.

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After launching at 1.50am on Sunday 16 April the lifeboat crew were directed to the Folly area of the River Medina, but then told the speedboat was in fact further east, in Wootton Creek. There they eventually found two men aboard the 14 foot Hustler, with something wrapped around its propeller.

'We thought it must be a rope causing the problem, but instead found it was an electric cable extending from the shore to a nearby moored empty yacht, and was apparently live,' said volunteer lifeboat helm Mark Harker.

'It clearly presented a challenge, to say the least, but after quite a struggle – and thankfully with no electric shocks – we managed to untangle the cable, which had also become twisted.'

The Hustler's crew explained that earlier, after leaving the Sloop Inn pub at Wootton Bridge, with the intention of returning to their base in Portsmouth Harbour, they had also gone aground.

With the Hustler now free of the cable, it was towed to the Royal Victoria Yacht Club’s pontoon at Fishbourne, where the men were strongly advised to not proceed on to Portsmouth until daylight.

The lifeboat returned to station at 3.15am, where Mark said the experience had provided the crew with a salutary lesson: 'Never assume that a line fouling a boat’s propeller is just a rope!'

RNLI Media contacts:

  • George Chastney, Cowes RNLI Volunteer Press Officer 07530 254052/ gwight37@googlemail.com
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) 0207 6207425/ 07785 296252/ tim_ash@rnli.org.uk
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) 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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Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

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