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Lifeboat Exercise Turns to Real Life Rescue

Lifeboats News Release

Cowes lifeboat was remarkably quick off the mark when an urgent request was received at the station this afternoon to evacuate an injured yachtsman.

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The call was received from HM Coastguards just as the lifeboat crew had boarded their Atlantic 85 craft Sheena Louise for an exercise. So immediately the volunteers switched to life-saving mode, racing out into the Solent to aid the crewman, on a yacht off Norris Buoy, west of Osborne Bay.

The yachtsman, one of six people aboard the yacht, had suffered back and shoulder injuries. After being given initial treatment by lifeboat members he was transferred on a stretcher to the lifeboat and taken to Fishbourne, where an ambulance was waiting to convey him to Newport’s St Mary’s Hospital.

As former firemen were crewing the yacht and a police launch had arrived on the boat to help lower the sails there was no shortage of other First Aid expertise on the scene.

The lifeboat, which left the station at 2 pm, returned at 4.20 pm.

Firefighters Say ‘Thank You’ with a Surprise Donation

A large cheque provided an unexpected and most welcome postscript to the Solent rescue by Cowes RNLI lifeboat of the injured yachtsman off Norris Buoy on Wednesday

The injured man had been on one of the 29 40-foot yachts taking part in the annual Cowes-based UK Firefighters Sailing Challenge.

The lifeboat crew were invited to the final awards presentation yesterday evening at Cowes Yacht Haven to receive a ‘thank you’ cheque for £1,500, which will be passed on to the charity’s Poole headquarters.

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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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