Calshot RNLI attend a dismasted catamaran near Fawley Marine Terminal

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew of Calshot RNLI were tasked to rescue a sailing boat which had become disabled in Southampton Water near to the main shipping channel in breezy conditions on Tuesday 23 June 2020.

Stock photo of the Calshot Lifeboat 'Max Walls' at sea

Calshot RNLI

Stock photo of the Calshot Lifeboat 'Max Walls'

The call came from HM Coastguard at 12:52pm on what was a beautiful, warm sunny day, with a slightly gusty south-easterly wind of 10-15 knots.

On arrival the crew of the Atlantic 85 B-Class lifeboat Max Walls, found the 16-foot-long sailing catamaran, a local boat out of Calshot, located just north of Fawley Marine Terminal.

Following a speedy assessment, it was discovered that a fixing connecting one of the wires, known as a shroud, which supports the mast and keeps it upright, had failed making it now ineffective. As a result, the mast had come crashing down, but thankfully, the solo crewman was not harmed and had moved out of its way.

He was well equipped with personal safety kit and had the means to raise the alarm by mobile phone, stored appropriately in waterproof cover.

The crew of the Max Walls were able to secure the mast and slack rigging, so the disabled boat was safe to move. Then it was a stern tow back to Calshot where the catamaran was recovered by waiting shore crew.

Helm on the shout Andy Headly said the incident proved how important it is to have a means of communication when taking to sea, particularly when sailing close to the main shipping lane.

‘I was pleased to see the chap was wearing a good buoyancy aid, appropriate kit and the means to get help if he needed to; these are all a must for water users', he said.

It was also a strong reminder to all water users of the need for constant checking and maintenance of equipment.

‘Maintenance is essential, particularly given the salty, corrosive environment in which we operate,’ he said. ‘Something that you checked or replaced at the end of last season or beginning of this, can still fail’.

RNLI Media Contacts:

Calshot Lifeboat Station volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Danni Strawford-Jones (07721) 694135

Calshot Lifeboat Station volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer Justyn Leonard (07540) 920678

Regional Media Officer, South East and London, Paul Dunt (07785) 296252

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

Photo showing the Calshot RNLI crew bringing the dismasted catamaran ashore with the lifeboat in the background.

RNLI/Kelley Leonard

The Calshot RNLI lifeboat crew with the dismasted yacht.

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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 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.

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