Complex yacht tow for Lymington RNLI’s new helmsman
The volunteer crew of Lymington RNLI were called shortly after 10pm on Thursday 15 November to go to the aid of a 27ft (8.5m) yacht aground on ‘The Trap’ sand bar off the corner of Hurst Spit.
Launching their Atlantic 85 Inshore lifeboat, David Bradley (B-882) under the command of newly qualified helmsman Jamie Lever and with senior helm Kevin Coster and crew Simon Naylor and Alex Sheppard aboard quick passage was made to the west through a South Westerly Force 3 with slight seas.
Arriving on the scene and with the visibility now improved, the Lymington RNLI crew found the single-handed yacht that had been on passage from Plymouth to Marchwood (Southampton Water) close ashore and well and truly trapped on the infamous sand spit having apparently mistaken the Hurst Castle leading lights in poor visibility.
With the tide now flooding and with the risk of the vessel being pushed ashore and onto the coastal defence groins by the swirling tide, Lymington lifeboat put one of its crew onto the casualty vessel to check for water ingress and establish a tow.
With the hull undamaged the vessel was then towed off to the South and into deep water where it became apparent that some damage had been sustained to the yacht rudder as she was unable to maintain a course behind the lifeboat.
Lymington lifeboat towed the vessel initially astern before changing to alongside for the passage up the river to the safety of Lymington Harbour, being met by the RNLI Shore Crew and the local Coastguard team.
Lymington lifeboat was recovered, refuelled, washed down and readied for further service just before midnight.
Notice to Editors:
· For over 53 years, Lymington RNLI Lifeboat has provided search, rescue and lifesaving capability in the western Solent, Needles Channel and eastern sector of Christchurch Bay.
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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, 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.