Cowes lifeboat joins rescue mission after yacht dismasting

Lifeboats News Release

The towering mast on a 41-foot yacht came crashing down in mid-Solent this afternoon (Monday 16 July), leading to Cowes RNLI lifeboat and Gosport independent lifeboat racing to the scene.

The yacht looking a sorry sight in mid Solent

Yachtsman Simon Boulding

The dismasted yacht, with a Cowes lifeboat crew member aboard.

The mast, together with sails and rigging, was left hanging over the starboard side of Amalie, though the four occupants of the yacht - two men and two women - escaped injury.

Crew members from both lifeboats swarmed over the yacht, which was on charter, to carry out a full assessment.

When a strenuous attempt to lift the mast back on to the yacht failed, it was eventually decided that it, together with rigging and sails, should be cut free. Cowes crew member Piers Tylor set to work with the task, using a hacksaw and bolt cutter.

The separation from the yacht became more urgent when there were signs the boat could soon be holed below the waterline by the mast rubbing against the hull.

Mast, sails and rigging was finally allowed to sink to the sea bed although a line attached to a marker buoy ensured they could all be safely recovered later by a commercial vessel.

Cowes lifeboat started to to tow the crippled yacht to Haslar, but then the job was taken over Gosport lifeboat.

Cowes lifeboat, with Laurie O’Callaghan at the helm, had been away from station for nearly three hours, launching just after 2 pm and returning at 5 pm.


RNLI Media Contacts:

George Chastney, Cowes Lifeboat Press Officer 07530 254052

Paul Dunt, RNLI Regional Media Officer (London and South East) 0207 6207425 07785 296252

For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

Lifeboat crew members swarm over the yacht.

RNLI/George Chastney

Lifeboat members from Cowes and Gurnad check over the crippled yacht.

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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.

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