‘Missing Swimmer’ Concerns Spark Late Night Sea Search for Cowes RNLI
An extensive search in the eastern Solent involving three RNLI lifeboats, a coastguard helicopter and a land-based coastguard team, took place late last Friday night (20 August) after fears that a swimmer was missing off East Cowes.
The alarm was raised after a woman in a very exhausted state was helped out of the water at East Cowes, near the Albany Road junction, by an off-duty paramedic, and eventually taken by ambulance to St Mary’s Hospital, Newport.
As at the time items on the beach possibly indicated a second person could also have been in the water, a thorough search was triggered.
Cowes RNLI lifeboat was launched, later joined by both the offshore and inshore lifeboats of Bembridge RNLI station, and the Lee-on-Solent helicopter - all deploying strong searchlights over the waters from East Cowes to Osborne Bay. Also later used to illuminate the area were numerous distress flares.
But nothing was found, and with the growing belief there was no second swimmer after all, coastguards at the National Maritime Centre, Fareham decided around mid-night the search should be called-off. Cowes lifeboat, which had launched at 10.25, was soon back at the station.
RNLI media contact
- George Chastney, Cowes RNLI Volunteer Press Officer 07530 254052/ [email protected]
- Paul Dunt, RNLI Media Regional Officer (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
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
Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries