Earlier this month Lymington Lifeboat Crew were alerted to a RIB aground on the local marshes and in need of immediate assistance. Following the conclusion of this shout, the Coastguard requested the lifeboat attend a second, separate situation onboard a yacht in the Solent. Haven Masters Rob and Asher are both part of the volunteer crew for the Lymington Lifeboat and responded to both call outs.
The Lymington lifeboat with four volunteer crew launched at 1.13pm on Wednesday 9 November, 14 minutes after the pagers had sounded, enroute to an 8.7 meter RIB aground on marshes near Tanners Lane.
On arrival it was clear the RIB had been beached but was still seaworthy and the sole occupant was unhurt. The spring hightide meant that much of the marsh was submerged but on a strong ebbing tide, it was crucial to get the rib off the mud as quickly as possible before it was left completely high and dry.
Helm James Lever skilfully manoeuvred the lifeboat up to the marsh and lifeboat crewman Leon Hockley walked a tow line through the water and over the muddy bank to the casualty. Once the tow line was securely attached, the RIB was successfully pulled off the bank and into clear water.
‘The Lymington B-Class Inshore Lifeboat David Bradley is the ideal craft to operate close to shore, in shallower water. It is designed to be quick and manoeuvrable, allowing our crews to get as close as possible to those in trouble.’ commented Lymington Lifeboat Station Manger Alistair Mackay.
Whilst escorting the RIB into the Lymington River, the lifeboat was given a second task, to assist a single-handed sailor with engine failure. The lifeboat proceeded to the last know position at Solent Bank. Due to the fast-flowing tide, the ketch was located further to the west and was being assisted by marine breakdown service Sea Start. The elderly owner of the yacht had become tired, disorientated, seasick and unable to secure the tow with Sea Start.
Lifeboat crewman Rob Merrix boarded the yacht, secured the tow line and ensured the casualty was safe and comfortable in the cockpit. A second lifeboat crew boarded the yacht, lifeboat David Bradley took up the tow and delivered the yacht into Yarmouth.
‘As RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew we are here to help all those in difficulties at sea. Every task is different and the training we receive allows us to successfully deal with a wide range of situations, which if not attended promptly, could quickly spiral out of control and become much more dangerous.’ Helm James Lever concluded.
Crew: James Lever (Helm), Leon Hockley, Rob Merrix, Asher White
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.