'RNLB Alfred Albert Williams' (Tamar All-Weather Lifeboat 16-17) was launched at around 8.45pm yesterday evening (8 November) at the request of UK Coastguard to assist a 15m sailing yacht located about 10 miles east of Bembridge with six crew on board, one of whom had an injured wrist. The yacht's engine was not working and she only had limited steering; although she had a headsail up, she was not making much progress to her home port of Cowes in the F6 SSE breeze and 3m swell.
The 'Alfred Albert Williams' reached the yacht at 9.10pm and having discussed the options with the skipper it was initially decided to take her under tow to Bembridge, however this was subsequently changed to Portsmouth (Gosport Marina) due to the state of the tide and the swell on the Boathouse slipway that would require the 'Alfred Albert Williams' to delay her return until the tide had dropped. Getting the tow connected was not easy as the yacht was lying beam on the sea and rocking gunwhale to gunwhale at times.
They reached Gosport Marina at around 1am where they were met by the Hillhead Coastguard team and an ambulance. The 'Alfred Albert Williams' then remained alongside until 4.15am by which time conditions on the Boathouse slipway had moderated sufficiently for her to recover by 5am.
Photo of 'RNLB Alfred Albert Williams' arriving at Gosport Marina taken by the Hillhead Coastguard team.