Lymington RNLI lifeboat dramatic rescue of four people from a stranded RIB
Lymington RNLI's volunteer crew were tasked by HM Coastguard at 12.22am in the early hours of Sunday morning (29 September) to a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) with four people on board which was stuck on the marshes to the east of Lymington River.
The station's Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat B-882 David Bradley was launched from the Royal Lymington Yacht Club pontoon, due to the station slipway being blocked because of the high tide.
The sea conditions and weather were extremely challenging, SW force 7-9. The lifeboat came out of the river headed east taking heavy weather against an ebbing tide in full flow. The RNLI volunteers were able to locate the stranded vessel by its navigation lights in the location given by the coastguard and was on the lee shore on the marsh.
The lifeboat made a couple of runs to establish a safe passage to the vessel and assess the situation. Two RNLI volunteer crew members were dropped off on the edge of the marsh and supported each casualty one at a time to the lifeboat.
Both lifeboat crew waded ashore and joined the casualty vessel. The crew decided to walk one casualty out one at a time to the lifeboat and get them aboard. Four runs were made into the marsh on a course of south to north each time walking out each casualty with our crew members.
Given the state of the sea and the location, there was not enough room for the lifeboat to turn around, so the helm had to carefully reverse the lifeboat into the breaking sea each time. Given the state of the sea and the tide conditions it was unsafe to recover the vessel at the time.
The lifeboat proceeded back to the harbourmaster's pontoon, where the casualties were transferred into the care of the Ambulance service at the lifeboat station. The lifeboat returned at 2.40am and the shore crew prepared the lifeboat ready for service.
Lymington helm Kevin Coster said the crew's work on board was exceptional under challenging conditions and the boat's performance was impressive.
Suzanne Brown, Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer, Lymington Lifeboat Station (07711) 393910 firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer, SE and London (07785) 296252 email@example.com
For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on (01202) 336789
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.