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What a busy day (Friday 21 July) for Bembridge RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

This morning we were at 49 shouts for the year. At lunch time this was 50, by 7pm this ended up to be 53! So here’s what happened..

AIS track of RNLB Frank & Anne Wilkinson

RNLI/Mike Samuelson/

AIS track of RNLB Frank & Anne Wilkinson
RNLB Frank and Anne Wilkinson (relief Tamar All-Weather Lifeboat 16-06) launched twice yesterday (Friday 21 July) at the request of UK (Solent) Coastguard. Firstly at 10.55am following a PanPan call from a 26ft sailing yacht with two crew reported to be 5nm SW of St Catherine's Point without power. They made good speed towards the reported position only to then find that the yacht was actually SE of St Catherine's Point. On reaching the yacht, which by that time was sailing quite happily, they were informed by the crew that no assistance was required. They therefore returned to Bembridge and were recovered by 1.15pm.

Subsequently UK (Solent) CG requested that the Frank and Anne Wilkinson re-launch to assist the same yacht which, by that time, was off the Bembridge Ledge and struggling to get to her home port of Langstone Harbour. Rather than risk the situation getting worse, the yacht was taken under tow to the entrance of Langstone Harbour where she was handed over the Portsmouth RNLI's Atlantic 85 (RNLB Norma T). On her way back to Bembridge the Frank and Anne Wilkinson was re-tasked to locate an 11m Danish yacht with 2 crew onboard that Solent Coastguard were having problems communicating with.

Whilst in the process of doing this UK (Solent) CG requested that RNLB Norman Harvey (Inshore Lifeboat D-778) be launched to locate and assist, if required, a swimmer reported as possibly being in difficulty south of St Helens Fort. Initially as there were not enough crew available to man the ILB, the Frank and Anne Wilkinson was diverted to assist; but before they got very far the ILB was able to be launched and quickly located the swimmer safely ashore. The Norman Harvey therefore returned to Lane End and was recovered by 5.15pm.

In the meantime, the Frank and Anne Wilkinson returned to the Danish Yacht which they ascertained had mechanical problems so they set up a tow to Endeavour Quay, Portsmouth. Once safely berthed, the Frank and Anne Wilkinson returned to Bembridge and was recovered by 7.00pm.

Guy Willing, Coxswain Bembridge RNLI, commented on a busy but successful day.

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

RNLI/Mike Samuelson/

AIS track of RNLB Norman Harvey
The yacht that initially did not require assistance

RNLI/Steve Stimson

Assistance not initially required
Danish Yaght under tow into Portsmouth

RNLI/Steve Stimson

Danish yacht under tow into Portsmouth

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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