RNLB Alfred Albert Williams (Tamar All-Weather Lifeboat 16-17) was launched at just before 6pm this evening at the request of UK (Solent) Coastguard to locate and assist a 32ft sailing boat whose engine had broken down and was unable to manoeuvre under sail in the light airs.
The location was vague as the yacht's portable GPS had run out of power before the full position had been registered. There was then something of a wild goose chase as the Alfred Albert Williams attempted to locate the 'Green Pepper' which was being sailed single handed by a Frenchman. It was not helped by the fact that for some unknown reason only the Coastguard was able to communicate with the yacht on Ch 67 until the Alfred Albert Williams eventually had her visual, so relaying possible locations was somewhat tedious. It was also not helped by the fact that it looks as if the sailor mistook the Nab Tower for St Helens Fort! Although at one stage it was beginning to look like a hoax, the yacht was eventually located just to the south west of Selsey after the search area was narrowed when the Frenchman managed to take a bearing on the Arcadia which was leaving on a cruise came within a couple of miles of the yacht.
Once located, she was taken under tow towards Chichester Harbour where the Alfred Albert Williams RV'd with Hayling Island RNLI's Atlantic 85 and transferred the tow. The Alfred Albert Williams then returned to Bembridge and was recovered by 8.45pm.
RNLB Norman Harvey (Inshore Lifeboat D-778) was launched at just before 8pm this evening at the request of HM (Solent) Coastguard to investigate a report of two walkers being cut off by the tide below Culver Down.
The Norman Harvey was soon on scene and located the two walkers, however they had climbed some way up the cliff and were stuck and could not re-trace their steps. While the local Bembridge & Ventnor Coastguard teams set themselves up for a 'cliff rescue', the Norman Harvey and Sandown & Shanklin Inshore Rescue who had also been tasked, stood off and provided a visual link with the Coastguard teams and moral support for the two trapped walkers.
A successful cliff rescue was carried out and the two 18-year male walkers who had set off earlier in the afternoon from Ryde to walk to Sandown were lowered down to the beach and transferred to the Norman Harvey. She then made her way back to the Lifeboat Station where the two casualties were given a warm drink and dry clothes. The Norman Harvey was recovered by 10.15pm.
On their way back from Cowes (supporting Cowes RNLI's 10th Anniversary) this afternoon, 'RNLB Alfred Albert Williams' (Tamar All-Weather Lifeboat 16-17) picked up a small task.
A 40ft Saltram Saga Yacht with three crew waved them down near the North Sturbridge Buoy and advised that they were having problems with their engine and as there was little or no breeze they were concerned that they might drift in the shipping channel.
The 'Alfred Albert Williams' came alongside and an Assistant Mechanic was put aboard; having successfully got the engine started, the yacht, which was from Brighton, was then able to continue her trip to Cowes. The 'Alfred Albert Williams' carried on back to Bembridge and was re-housed by 5pm.