Cowes RNLI lifeboat launched to help aground yacht

An ocean racer that had grounded on a sandbank at the entrance to Southampton Water, in strong winds and choppy seas, led to Cowes lifeboat playing an uncomfortable waiting game for some two hours, eventually joined by Yarmouth lifeboat, on Tuesday (September 18).

The 40ft yacht, with two people aboard, had gone hard aground on to Bramble Bank.

Although the RNLI’s Atlantic 85 rib Sheena Louise lost little time in crossing the Solent, after launching at 1.50pm, it soon became apparent that the crew would have to wait a long time for the tide to rise sufficiently for the yacht to float free.

During the long wait it was decided that it would be prudent for Yarmouth’s all-weather more powerful lifeboat to provide on-the-scene backup.

Finally, at 3.59pm, a crew member the yacht radioed they had regained full buoyancy.

The long-awaited tow could then be carried out. Initially the yacht was towed off the bank by Cowes lifeboat, then the task was taken over by the Yarmouth lifeboat which delivered the yacht to Cowes Yacht Haven where its hull could be inspected for possible damage.

Cowes lifeboat tows the yacht before handing over the cross-Solent job to Yarmouth lifeboat