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