Busy 24 hours for Bembridge RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Bembridge RNLI's Tamar All-Weather Lifeboat was launched twice in the wake of Storm Eunice and arrival of Storm Franklin

Photo of the 12m yacht off the starboard bow

RNLI/Dawn Hodge

Escorting the 12m Yacht back to Gosport on Monday 21st February
RNLB Alfred Albert Williams (Tamar All-Weather Lifeboat 16-17) was launched at 7.40pm on Sunday evening 20th February at the request of UK (Solent) Coastguard to investigate a faint Pan Pan call that had been received from the area of Chale Bay. Yarmouth RNLI's Severn Class All-Weather Lifeboat (RNLB Eric and Susan Hiscock (Wanderer) 17-25) was also tasked; as was Ventnor Coastguard Rescue Team.

Conditions were rough (at the time of the launch and for the duration of the shout, local weather recording websites were registering a Westerly Force 8, gusting Force 9 gale which limited their transit speed to around 15 knots (7 knots approaching St Catherine's Point) and made searching extremely difficult in the 65 knot gusts and 6 to 7 metre waves. Having liaised with RNLB Eric and Susan Hiscock (Wanderer) and in the absence of any sign of a casualty vessel, the Alfred Albert Williams was released by UK (Solent) Coastguard at 9.15pm and returned to Bembridge considerably quicker as it was down wind/down sea. She was recovered by 10.10pm.

RNLB Alfred Albert Williams (Tamar All-Weather Lifeboat 16-17) was launched again at 11am on Monday 21st February at the request of UK (Solent) Coastguard to assist a 12m sailing yacht with 4 crew that had run aground on Ryde Sands. Ryde Inshore Rescue and the the Coastguard helicopter Rescue 175 were also tasked.

Prior to reaching the yacht, Rescue 175 reported that she looked as if she successfully re-floated on the incoming tide and appeared to be heading towards Portsmouth under sail. Having checked with the yacht that this was indeed the case, the Alfred Albert Williams then escorted her back to Gosport. Throughout the shout, local weather websites was recording a Westerly Force 8 gale, gusting to Force 9 (47 knots). On completion the Alfred Albert Williams left Gosport at 12.15pm and returned to Bembridge. She was recovered by 12.45pm.

Coxswain Guy Willing said "Conditions over the last two days, particularly on Sunday evening were certainly not for the feint hearted. However our Tamar All-weather Lifeboat, the Alfred Albert Williams brought us all safely back home."

RNLI media contacts

  • Mike Samuelson, Bembridge RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07785 593254 or [email protected]

  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer London/East/South East) on 0207 6207416, 07786 668825 [email protected]

  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789


Another photo of the yacht off the starboard bow on Monday 21st February

RNLI/Dawn Hodge

Escorting the 12m Yacht back to Gosport on Monday 21st February
picture of Ryde Rescue 1 off the starboard quarter

RNLI/Dawn Hodge

Ryde Inshore Rescue in supporting
AIS track of the Alfred Albert Williams on 20th February 2022

RNLI/MarineTraffic.com/Mike Samuelson

Track of RNLB Alfred Albert Williams on 20th February 2022
AIS track of the Alfred Albert Williams on 21st February 2022

RNLI/Marinegtraffic.com/Mike Samuelson

AIS track of RNLB Alfred Albert Williams Monday 21st February

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

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