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Cowes lifeboat passes a notable milestone with 600 shouts

Lifeboats News Release

Cowes RNLI lifeboat this (Thursday) evening passed its 600th ‘shout’ since the life-saving charity began operations in the town in 2008.

Stock image of the Cowes RNLI lifeboat 'Sheena Louise'

RNLI/Nick Edwards

Stock image of the Cowes RNLI lifeboat 'Sheena Louise'

First it went to the aid of a motorboat and later a yacht – both in potentially life-threatening trouble in the choppy conditions.

The crew were alerted to the first emergency – the 600th - in a unique way; because of the coronavirus they were undergoing their weekly crew meeting at the time, away from the station, through Zoom.

Coastguards had informed Station Operations Manager, Mark Southwell, that a 24-foot motorboat was grounded on rocks on the east side of Thorness Ledge, and the two people aboard were in urgent need of assistance in failing light and a heavy swell.

After launching at 7.25 pm the lifeboat located the craft, also being monitored from the shore by Needles and Ventnor coastguard teams.

So began the long process of escorting it back to its base at Town Quay, Southampton. Despite the motor-boat’s navigation lights failing off Fawley the lifeboat completed the task, and finally returned to the Cowes station at 9.55 pm.

But just as the crew were washing down the lifeboat on the slipway there came a second alert, this time involving a 27-foot yacht with two people aboard; they radioed they had engine trouble.

The stricken yacht’s location on the edge of the main shipping channel, off Old Castle Point, East Cowes was helpfully pinpointed by a searchlight used by the pilot aboard the passing giant car-carrier, Auto Energy. Eventually the lifeboat towed the yacht to Trinity Landing, Cowes.

As well as the station now exceeding the 600 ‘shouts’, the two operations meant that since Cowes RNLI took over from the town’s independent lifeboat in 2008 it had assisted no fewer than 753 people – men, women and, just occasionally, children.


RNLI media contacts

  • George Chastney, Cowes RNLI Volunteer Press Officer 07530 254052/ [email protected]
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) 0207 6207426/ 07785 296252/ [email protected]
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
RNLI online: For more information on the RNLI please visit

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.

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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.