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Bembridge RNLI launches in strong winds to assist injured crew member on coaster

Lifeboats News Release

The Bembridge RNLI all-weather Tamar lifeboat 'Alfred Albert Williams' was launched just after midnight, in the early hours of New Year's Eve, at the request of the UK Coastguard to evacuate a medical casualty with a suspected dislocated shoulder from a coaster.

Archive picture of the KOSSAU

RNLI/Mike Samuelson/Marine Traffic

The 87m vessel, the Kossau was on its way from the Antwerp area to Southampton, and was about 18 nautical miles east of Bembridge when the call came to assist the 56 year old crew member.

Conditions were pretty unpleasant - F7, gusting F8 south westerly with heavy rain. With the Alfred Albert Williams roughly four miles east of the Nab Tower, the captain of the Kossau informed HM Coastguard that as the injured crew member was the chief engineer he had decided to head into St Helens Anchorage and make the transfer at anchor.

The Alfred Albert Williams therefore proceeded back towards Bembridge and waited for the Kossau to anchor. On reaching the anchorage, the coaster made a number of unsuccessful attempts to anchor and so the captain decided to continue into Southampton and arrange for the injured chief engineer to be got to hospital once berthed.

The Alfred Albert Williams returned to the offshore boathouse without the injured chief engineer and was recovered by 3.20am.

John Keyworth, Lifeboat Operations Manager said: 'It was certainly not a pleasant night to be out on the water and we felt for the injured crew member, but of course it had to be the captain's decision as to whether his ship could continue safely without his chief engineer. A bit frustrating for our crew, but at least we were able to provide the captain with a number of options'.

RNLI media contacts

· Mike Samuelson, Bembridge RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07785 593254 or

· 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

Picture of the track of RNLB Alfred Albert Williams

RNLI/Mike Samuelson/Marine Traffic AIS

Track of RNLB Alfred Albert Williams

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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