Both Selsey RNLI lifeboats respond to Mayday call.
On Friday 1 November UK Coastguards requested the launch after receiving a Mayday distress call from a 60ft Motor boat that had run aground on the Mixon reef 1.25 miles off Selsey Bill. The Skipper reported that there were two people aboard and they had water ingress.
The Selsey inshore lifeboat (ILB) was first away at 6.45pm closely followed by the All-weather lifeboat (ALB) at 6.50pm. The ILB was first on scene shortly followed by the ALB at 7.00pm. At this stage the skipper reported they had about 8 inches of water in the bilge. The vessel had gone aground just before low water. The ILB made two attempts to get near the vessel but these proved unsuccessful due to the breaking seas. With the weather deteriorating the Coxswain decided to pass the tow line to the vessel using the ILB which manoeuvred as close as it could to the casualty before throwing a heaving line with the larger tow line attached.
Three attempts were made before the man on the casualty vessel held on to the line and hauled the larger tow line on to the vessel. After receiving instructions via radio the tow was finally established between the ALB and the Motor boat at 8.19pm. The ALB held the casualty and waited for the rising tide. At 8.43pm the vessel started moving off the reef and immediately the skipper asked to be evacuated from the vessel as they now had 4ft of water in the bilge. The ILB made an attempt to recover the two men but conditions were to rough so the ILB was released to return to station. The weather on scene by now was wind south west force 5-7 rough sea in rain showers.
The Coxswain instructed the skipper of the Casualty vessel to release the tow. And make ready to be recovered by the ALB. After the tow line was recovered to the ALB the first attempt was made to evacuate the two casualty’s resulting in one being recovered at 9.10pm. On the second attempt the skipper was recovered at 9.15pm.
Unfortunately the skipper sustained a head injury whilst transferring and first aid was administered, he also declared a previous heart condition so the ALB requested an ambulance meet them on return to station. The coxswain said the vessel was taking a pounding rocking from side to side with seas breaking right over the boat.
At 9.35pm the ALB returned to the beach and was rehoused immediately to disembark the two casualties before washing down and refuelling. They were given dry clothes and a hot drink while their wet clothes were dried. The ambulance could not give an eta so at 11.15pm the station Lifeboat operations manager took both casualties to St Richards hospital. Tonight’s crews were ALB: Coxswain Colin Pullenger, 2nd Cox Rob Archibald, Mechanic Geoff Mellett, Sam Corcoran-Smith, Neil Hopcraft, and Terry Healey. ILB Helmsman Will Moir, Andy Lee and Max Wiseman
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.