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Lymington lifeboat launches to reports of yacht adrift in the Western Solent

Lifeboats News Release

Lymington RNLI pagers sounded at 10.35am on Wednesday 19 October in response to reports of a seemingly unmanned yacht adrift within a mile of the entrance to the Lymington river.

Lymington Lifeboat arriving on scene to yacht adrift

RNLI/Joanna Styles

Lymington Lifeboat arriving on scene

The stations inshore lifeboat David Bradley with her four volunteer crew took just three minutes from launch to locating the vessel, one nautical mile west of the river and drifting fast.

Phil Baker, the lifeboat helm, brought David Bradley alongside the vessel, at which point one male emerged from below decks and contact was made. Lifeboat crew member Ben Bradley-Watson boarded the vessel and on assessment found the boat to be badly damaged, with lines over the sides and no safety equipment aboard. At this stage, the decision was taken to establish a tow.

A strong easterly wind and three meter swell made towing tricky. 'Once on board the yacht, I could clearly see that it was in some disrepair,' commented Ben Bradley-Watson. 'I was concerned that the cleat on the bow of the casualty vessel may not hold and we had to take it very steady until safely within the river, where we brought the yacht alongside the lifeboat'.

The lifeboat delivered the yacht safely to the Harbour Master's pontoon in Lymington where the Coastguard were waiting.

'It was an unusual situation and the reasons for the yacht being where it was were unclear but our sole focus was to ensure the safety of the man onboard the vessel and the safety of those around him. It is essential to have certain safety equipment when out at sea including lifejackets, a working VHF and a form of navigation'. Helm Phil Baker concluded.

Crew: Phil Baker (Helm), James Douch, Piers Horobin, Ben Bradley-Watson.

RNLI Contact details:

Jo Styles, Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer, Lymington Lifeboat Station (07725) 640871 [email protected]

Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer, SE and London (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 News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre.

Lifeboat with casualty vessel alongside

RNLI/Joanna Styles

Lifeboat with casualty vessel alongside
Crew: Phil Baker (Helm), James Douch, Piers Horobin, Ben Bradley-Watson.

RNLI/Joanna Styles

Crew: Phil Baker (Helm), James Douch, Piers Horobin, Ben Bradley-Watson.

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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