Bembridge RNLI's all-weather lifeboat out all night rescuing racing yacht

Lifeboats News Release

Bembridge RNLI's all-weather lifeboat 'Alfred Albert Williams' launched from the Isle of Wight at 00.31am following a request from the UK Coastguard to relieve RNLI Selsey's all-weather lifeboat which had a 39-foot racing yacht with two crew on board under tow.

RNLI/Mike Samuelson

AIS track for RNLB Alfred Albert Williams (Tamar 16-17)

The yacht, the Silver Shamrock, was under tow about seven miles east of the Nab Tower following a steering failure earlier in the evening.

The volunteer crew of the Tamar class lifeboat Alfred Albert Williams took over the tow at 01:06am in an unpleasant Force 6 East North Easterly. The initial plan had been to take the yacht to Portsmouth, however this was subsequently changed to Cowes on the Isle of Wight from where Silver Shamrock had set out from earlier in the day.

Having successfully completed the tow by approximately 04:15am, the Alfred Albert Williams remained alongside Trinity Pontoon for just under an hour to allow for the tide to drop and to give time for the swell on the slipway back at Bembridge to reduce sufficiently to allow a safe recovery of the lifeboat.

The Alfred Albert Williams left Cowes at 05:10am and returned to Bembridge via Sparkes Marina in Chichester to hand back Selsey's tow line. She was rehoused by 07:15am.

RNLI media contacts

  • Mike Samuelson, Volunteer RNLI Press Officer, Bembridge on (07785) 593254
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207416, 07786 668825
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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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 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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