View as PDF

Hayling Island RNLI lifeboat rescues 93 year old sailor

Lifeboats News Release

On Saturday 30 September two sailors launched their boats from the top of Langstone Harbour to go for a sail in a F5 SSW wind.

Old style Gull dinghy in which the casualty capsized.

RNLI/Alan Bartlett

Gull dinghy after recovery.

One was in his Gull dinghy and the other in a Heron dinghy. All went well with the two boats sailing down the harbour and out into Hayling Bay where the choppy sea conditions were quite different.

After sailing across the Bay, they both turned to enter Chichester Harbour where the waves over the Winner Bank caused the Gull to capsize, throwing the 93 year old into the water. The dinghy was rapidly swamped and the man could not get back into it and became very cold. His sailing companion, on the second dinghy, didn't see what happened.

Luckily, after a while in the water, a fishing boat saw the man and his dinghy and went over to stop the dinghy being washed ashore and radioed the Coastguard for help.

The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat had just been recovered from an earlier rescue and was relaunched immediately. Once on scene it was evident that the sailor had been in the water too long and was suffering hypothermia, so needed to be taken ashore quickly.

RNLI Helm Pete Hanscombe said: ‘The elderly man had been in the water for an unknown length of time and clearly was in distress. He was very glad to be in the lifeboat heading to safety'.

Once ashore the sailor was taken into the care of the station paramedic and shore crew, and an ambulance was called. With careful care the man recovered but was taken to hospital to be checked over. He was discharged later that day and was able to return home.

Back on the scene of the capsize, the crew of the fishing boat was still hanging onto the man's Gull dinghy. The Atlantic 85 returned to try to tow it ashore but found it too full of water and so had to let it be driven by the tide and wind onto the beach.

Once there the crew were able to bail out the dinghy and then tow it to the lifeboat station and it was collected by the man's sailing mate the next day. He expressed their gratitude for a swift reaction to recover his friend and for the expert care he received once ashore.

  • Alan Bartlett, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Hayling Island Lifeboat Station 07749 061220 alanjbartlett4@gmail.com
  • Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East) on 0207 6207416, 07786 668825 email paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789 emailpressoffice@rnli.org


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.

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 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

Categories