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 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.