View as PDF

Emergency signal prompts launch of Bembridge RNLI lifeboat volunteers

Lifeboats News Release

Bembridge RNLI's relief Tamar class lifeboat, 'Frank and Anne Wilkinson', was launched at the request of the UK Coastguard earlier this evening (Sunday 23 July) following the activation of an emergency signal.

Picture of the AIS track

RNLI/Mike Samuelson

Track of RNLB Frank and Anne Wilkinson - 23rd July 2017
The Frank and Anne Wilkinson (temporary relief Tamar 16-06) was launched at the request of the UK Coastguard at around 6.50pm to initially conduct an expanding search to the south east of No Mans Land fort.

The search was prompted by a report by the P&O cruise ship 'Ventura' of a Search and Rescue Transponder (SART) emergency signal being transmitted in the area.

The volunteer crew aboard the Frank & Anne Wilkinson were quickly on scene and started a search. However after only four legs of a search they were re-tasked to check out two sailing vessels - Castalia and Hot Stuff - that had been in the area and were by then heading towards Cowes. Both vessels were quickly located.

Meanwhile, the UK Coastguard had managed to identify the make and number of the Search and Rescue Transponder that was transmitting and the yacht Hot Stuff then confirmed it was one of theirs which had somehow been switched on in error and that they were in no difficulty.

The Frank and Anne Wilkinson then returned to Bembridge and was recovered by 8pm.

On their return, Steve Simmonds, Coxswain of Bembridge RNLI lifeboat, said: 'Happily in this case it was a false alarm. However it need to be checked out and as the Tamar lifeboat is so well equipped for carrying out searches, it was good that we were requested.'

RNLI media contacts

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

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


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