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Selsey RNLI respond to Mayday call from small yacht

Lifeboats News Release

The UK Coastguard received the Mayday from the yachts skipper who was concerned the sea conditions would overwhelm his yacht.

lifeboat arriving on scene

RNLI/Max Gilligan

Arriving on scene

The Selsey All-weather lifeboat (ALB) launched at 11.12am on Friday 23 April and initially headed straight out from the beach as the lone sailor had not confirmed his position and communication problems resulted in the ALB not able to use the direction-finding equipment. Shortly after launching the Coastguard reported the casualty had said, he was between Selsey Bill and Wittering, so the ALB proceeded around the Bill to the west.

After passing the Bill communications got better and eventually the ALB was able to get a bearing off the yachts radio signal and headed towards a radar target on a similar bearing. Both the ALB and the Rescue Helicopter which had also been scrambled arrived on scene at 11.37am. After speaking to the lone sailor about his welfare the lifeboat Coxswain reported to the Coastguards that the helicopter was not required, and the ALB would transfer an ALB crewman to the vessel to assist the skipper with lowering the sails and clearing the decks of ropes before starting the engine and escorting the casualty vessel to Chichester harbour

The position of the yacht was 3 miles south south west of Selsey Bill and the weather on scene was wind easterly force 5-6 sea state moderate in clear sky and sunshine. At 11.50am the yacht was underway with the ALB crewman on the helm following the lifeboat towards Chichester harbour. Once inside the harbour the 2nd coxswain was transferred to the yacht to assist with berthing at Sparkes marina situated inside the harbour. The yacht was safely berthed alongside at 1.20pm and the ALB was released from the incident at 1.30pm and departed Sparkes marina. At 2.21pm the ALB arrived back at Selsey and was recovered straight away washed down, refuelled and made ready for service. The crew today were Coxswain Rob Archibald, 2nd Cox Colin Pullenger, Mechanic Andy Lee, Pip Skeet, Harry Emmence and Terry Healey.

going alongside yacht

RNLI/Max Gilligan

making contact with the Skipper
lifeboat approaching from stern of yacht

RNLI/Max Gilligan

lifeboat coming alongside to pass bag
Thumbs up from lifeboat crew on yacht

RNLI/Max Gilligan

Thumbs up from lifeboat crew on yacht

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.