A challenging 'shout' for 'RNLB Alfred Albert Williams'

Lifeboats News Release

'RNLB Alfred Albert Williams' (Tamar All-Weather Lifeboat 16-17) was launched at around 8.45pm yesterday evening (8 November) at the request of UK Coastguard to assist a 15m sailing yacht located about 10 miles east of Bembridge with six crew on board, one of whom had an injured wrist.

Yacht under tow

RNLI/Fred Milne

Yacht under tow

The yacht's engine was not working and she only had very limited steering; although she had a headsail up, she was not making much progress to her home port of Cowes in the F6 SSE breeze and 3m swell.

The Alfred Albert Williams reached the yacht at 9.10pm and having discussed the options with the skipper it was initially decided to take her under tow to Bembridge, however this was subsequently changed to Portsmouth (Gosport Marina) due to the state of the tide and the swell on the Boathouse slipway that would require the Alfred Albert Williams to delay her return until the tide had dropped. Getting the tow connected was not easy as the yacht was lying beam on the sea and rocking gunwhale to gunwhale at times.

They reached Gosport Marina at around 1am where they were met by the Hillhead Coastguard team and an ambulance. The Alfred Albert Williams then remained alongside until 4.15am by which time conditions on the Boathouse slipway had moderated sufficiently for her to recover by 5am.

On their return to Bembridge RNLI, the Coxswain, Guy Willing, said 'The conditions out there made establishing the tow quite challenging! The yacht was rolling heavily, and I certainly did not envy her crew. It can't have been very pleasant. The whole team did really well.'

Following an inspection of the yacht today (Friday 9 November) by her crew, it transpires that the rudder itself had broke off completely.

Mike Samuelson, Bembridge RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07785 593254 or mikesam06@gmail.com

Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer London/East/South East) on 0207 6207416, 07785 296252 paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk

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

The yacht and RNLB Alfred Albert Williams about to berth at Gosport Marina

RNLI/Hillhead Coastguard Team

About to berth at Gosport Marina
Chart extract showing the route that they followed

RNLI/Mike Samuelson (Marine Traffic.com)

RNLB Alfred Albert William's track

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