Lymington RNLI called to search for dinghy reported in difficulty
The Lymington RNLI Lifeboat (B-882) David Bradley was called at 5.50pm on Sunday 24 June to search for a sailing dinghy or windsurfer reported to the Coastguards by members of the public as being in difficulties off Keyhaven Beach.
Noting that Keyhaven does not have a beach but is a maze of marsh lined inlets leading to a quayside, Lymington RNLI lifeboat launched into a flooding tide with a force 2/3 breeze and a slight sea, to commence its search in the vicinity of the Keyhaven entrance before proceeding around to seaward side of Hurst Spit towards Milford Beach.
Here whilst on transit the lifeboat was stood down by the Coastguard as it appeared from members of the public that the vessel had made it safely ashore in the area of the Needles Eye Cafe.
Being assured that all was now well and noting a number of dinghies on the shoreline, the lifeboat returned to Lymington, only to be re-tasked back to the same area when it became apparent from a 999 call to the Coastguards that a small RIB with one person onboard had not returned to its beach launching spot having been afloat since 10.30am.
Conducting a further search, Lymington RNLI volunteers found the tee shirt clad gentleman attempting to row the half sunken 3.2m vessel with a weighty defunct outboard on its stern back to Avon Beach (near Mudeford). He had no lifejacket, no VHF radio, no flares and only a wet non-working mobile phone.
Casualty was taken aboard lifeboat and with the dinghy in tow, taken to Keyhaven Quay to be handed into the care of the Lymington Coastguard Rescue Team.
Lifeboat returned to station to be readied for further service.
Notice to Editors:
· For over 50 years, Lymington RNLI Lifeboat has provided search, rescue and lifesaving capability in the western Solent, Needles Channel and eastern sector of Christchurch Bay.
· The RNLI Lifeboat Station open days will be on: Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 August 2018 coinciding with the local food festival being held on the adjacent Bath Road Park.
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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.