Three Shouts on Fastnet Sunday for RNLI Lymington's crew.
The Lymington RNLI volunteer crew were called by the UK Coastguard at 1.25pm on Sunday (6 August) following a distress call from a 12m yacht, the Marriet Harwood, which had run aground on the shingle bank in Christchurch Bay, at the start of the Fastnet Race.
The crew launched Lymington's Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat David Bradley and were on the scene by 2.15pm. Volunteer helmsman John Husband quickly assessed the situation, checking the crew of the yacht were wearing life-jackets and that they were in no immediate danger.
After speaking to the skipper of the yacht, which was stuck fast, it was decided that the Marriet Harwood's crew would continue to monitor the situation and await the flood tide to enable them to re-float later that evening.
At 4.32pm the Lymington lifeboat station received a further call from the UK Coastguard asking for assistance as the tide had turned and the yacht was beginning to take a pounding, with waves breaking over the vessel.
The David Bradley was back on the scene by 4.47pm and with the worsening weather conditions and the possibility that the Marriet Harwood's crew may have to be evacuated in potentially hazardous rough and shallow water, it was decided to call for support for the RNLI's all-weather lifeboat at Yarmouth.
With good fortune, the rising tide and strong winds suddenly turned the yacht which then re-floated and the crew quickly started the engine and moved into deeper water. The RNLI Yarmouth lifeboat was stood down and the volunteer crew of the David Bradley began to escort the yacht to a safe haven in Lymington.
Passing through Hurst Narrows, a further call was received for assistance from the RNLI Yarmouth lifeboat, which had responded to a distress call from a yacht with a person on board who had suffered a serious head injury.
Arriving on the scene, two Yarmouth volunteer crew were already on board, treating an elderly gentleman and three Lymington volunteer crew were then placed aboard to assist, bringing the yacht swiftly into Lymington.
On arrival the casualty was bought ashore to await the incoming ambulance. The RNLI Lymington Lifeboat was readied for further service by the awaiting volunteer shore crew.
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Key facts about the RNLI
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.
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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries
Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.
The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland