View as PDF

Cowes lifeboat in late-night festival river rescue

Lifeboats News Release

Three people who suffered cold shock after capsizing from a rowing boat close to the Isle of Wight Music Festival site, led to a late-night rescue operation by Cowes RNLI lifeboat and Ventnor coastguards.

It was thought the trio had earlier travelled up the River Medina to witness The Killers who had headed the festival’s Sunday night programme at Seaclose.

After the capsizing two of the occupants, a middle-aged man and woman, were rescued by another boat. The third occupant managed to eventually scramble, exhausted, to the west bank, close to Newport Rowing Club.

The man and woman were transferred to the lifeboat and with the help of the Ventnor coastguards they were carried through the mud to reach the west bank, where they could join their companion. The three were taken by waiting ambulances to St Mary’s Hospital.

Lifeboat helm, Mark Harker, “They were very cold and stunned and because it was dark there was a good chance they could have been hit by one of the other boats milling around at the end of the festival.’’

The lifeboat had launched for the rescue just after midnight.

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 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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