Bembridge RNLI tow broken down 30 foot motor cruiser to safety in bitter cold.
RNLB 'Alfred Albert Williams' (Tamar all-weather Lifeboat 16-17) was launched at just after 8.30am this morning (Wednesday 28 February) at the request of UK Coastguard to a 30 foot motor boat with two crew onboard that had lost all power and was taking on water.
Assisted by Sandown and Shanklin independent lifeboat, the salvage pump and two crew members were transferred to the boat, which was close to Sandown Pier and a tow to Bembridge Harbour was established by 9.15am.
Progress was slow in the 2m - 4m North Easterly swell which built as they neared Bembridge Ledge buoy and once past the Offshore Boathouse they decided it was too risky to try to enter Bembridge Harbour so they diverted to Haslar Marina in Portsmouth.Having safely secured the boat alongside a pontoon by midday, the Alfred Albert Williams remained at Haslar until approximately 2.30pm to allow conditions on the slipway at Bembridge to abate.
After a number of attempts and the shore crew reverting to the old throw line routine as it was too windy for the pole system to work, the Alfred Albert Williams was successfully recovered by 3.45pm. It was so cold that parts of the upper deck were iced up after having been washed down!
Steve Simonds, Coxswain Bembridge Lifeboat said: 'Conditions were certainly not very pleasant and the swell and strong North Easterly made for a slow tow. However, it was very satisfying for the crew and everyone else involved that we were able to get the vessel safely into Portsmouth Harbour.'
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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, in a normal year, 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.