Calshot RNLI launches to stricken vessel stuck on mud

Lifeboats News Release

This afternoon (Monday 23 March) the volunteer crew of the Calshot D-Class Lifeboat were requested by HM Coastguard to assist a small sailing dinghy which had become stuck on deep mud near Ashlett Creek, with concerns for two elderly gentlemen on board.

RNLI/Justyn Leonard

RNLI Calshot's D-Class lifeboat in action

The gentlemen had been enjoying an afternoon of isolation on the water in a Wayfarer type sailing dinghy, on a bright sunny, yet breezy, day before finding themselves in trouble.

The sailors had suffered a broken mast / ripped sail, followed by auxiliary engine failure. Soon after exhausting their efforts on restarting the engine, the boat had drifted with the falling tide and was now high and dry on deep mud near Ashlett Creek.

Alarm raised, the Calshot volunteer crew successfully located the stricken boat, and assessed not only what action should be taken in getting the two occupants to safety, but also what precautions should be taken to ensure the crew's safety in the light of the current coronavirus outbreak.

The RNLI has currently closed all its lifeboat stations and shops to visitors to ensure the charity it able to maintain its world-class lifesaving service. Although the men were not showing any symptoms of the virus the crew took sensible precautions to lessen any risk.

The lifeboat was landed at the water’s edge and kept floating in position by the helm, Mark Laughlin, and crew Damian Lester. The third crew member Sean Marsh made his way through the mud to get closer to the dinghy and was able to assess the condition of the elderly gentlemen was satisfactory.

A tow line was attached and the lifeboat crew used their experience and RNLI training, along with the power of the lifeboat’s engine to pull the dinghy off the mud and back into the water.

The dinghy was then towed to safety and both gentlemen were landed ashore.

Mark Laughlin, Helm on today’s shout said afterwards:

‘These are tough times for everyone. Many of us water lovers find peace and solace afloat, on our boats or even kayaks or paddleboards. But remember, no matter how much experience you have, you can get caught out on the water'. If you do get into difficulty RNLI volunteers are here 365 days a year. Call 999 and ask for Coastguard'.

Media Contacts:

Calshot Lifeboat Station volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Danni Strawford-Jones (07721) 694135 [email protected]

Calshot Lifeboat Station volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer Justyn Leonard (07540) 920678 [email protected]

Regional Media Officer, South East and London, Paul Dunt (07785) 296252 [email protected]

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 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.