Commitment of RNLI Volunteers Amply Shown in Cowes Week
Cowes RNLI lifeboat had an eventful if not dramatic Cowes Week.
A yacht that had gone aground on Thursday, near the mouth of Beaulieu River was attended to by the lifeboat, leading on to a request for assistance from Calshot station’s more shallow draft D Class lifeboat. Eventually, however, the yacht was re-floated by the tide and continued on its way.
On Friday, when Cowes Week races were cancelled because of rough weather, the lifeboat came across someone with a damaged wing-foil craft he was trying to paddle to Gurnard. He and the craft were towed to the shore, where Needles coastguards were waiting to give assistance.
Then on Saturday the lifeboat crew, while on exercise, responded to a report of an engine room fire aboard a 39-foot motor-cruiser off Calshot, with four people and two dogs aboard.
A lifeboat crew member who went aboard the motor-cruiser found that although there was no longer a fire the engine was unusable. Cowes lifeboat was joined by Calshot lifeboat which towed the cruiser to Hamble.
The Cowes station’s readiness to respond to emergencies was further demonstrated on Sunday, when fully-kitted boat and shore crew members assembled in the boathouse in case they were needed because of the heavy seas whipped up by a strong south-westerly. But they were finally stood down after being told by Coastguards they were not needed after all, and the lifeboat was brought back into the boathouse.
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.