Two fishermen airlifted to safety on Hayling Island
Two fishermen in a 16ft motorboat had engine failure and ran aground in Chichester Harbour but although the Hayling RNLI lifeboat reached them it was decided to airlift them to safety.
In strong SW winds two recreational fishermen returning to their base at Mill Rythe Creek, were driven onto a mud band with the tide falling rapidly.
HM Coastguard paged the Hayling Island Lifeboat Station to go to their assistance with the intention of pulling them off the mud or taking the crew off to safety. The D Class Lifeboat Jacob was launched and was quickly on the scene to find that the boat was firmly aground and at some distance from the edge of the channel.
The helm Danny MacPherson walked across the mud to the casualty and discussed taking the two men across the mud to the lifeboat but as one had underlying health issues they felt they could not do this.
They suggested staying on board but the boat was stern onto the weather and they had little shelter and they were not really prepared for a cold night. A request was made to the Coastguard for the Rescue Helicopter to winch them to safety but it was already dealing with a higher priority incident.
It was agreed that the Atlantic 85 Lifeboat would be launched and bring dry suits and blankets to provide overnight protection. The Atlantic 85 had just arrived on the scene when we were informed that the helicopter could attend. Soon the two men had been winched up into the helicopter which landed on the beach by the lifeboat station and delivered the two casualties.
They were immensely grateful and one e-mailed the crew later saying: ‘Thank you for your team’s sensational response last night. We are so appreciative and grateful.’ After a quick medical check the two men took a taxi back to their cars. The lifeboats and crew were fully cleaned against risk of infection and made ready for their next service.
Notes to editors:
Hayling Island RNLI Station has a D-Class lifeboat ‘Jacob’ and an Atlantic 85 ‘Derrick Battle.’ On average there are 75/85 launches per year and we were the 5th busiest station in the SE Region in 2015, and the busiest of the immediate local stations.
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