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November 2019

1st November

 
Bembridge RNLI’s All-Weather Lifeboat stands by a disabled WightLink Car Ferry.
 
RNLB Alfred Albert Williams (Tamar All-Weather Lifeboat 16-17) was launched at the request of UK (Solent) Coastguard at 9am this morning to standby the 8am sailing of the Wightlink Car Ferry Victoria of Wight that had suffered a mechanical breakdown soon after leaving Wootton Creek (with the RNLI Press Officers from Bembridge & Cowes who were on their way to a meeting at the National Martime Operations Centre onboard!).
 
The ferry was subsequently able to restore partial power and continue with the crossing, albeit at only 3 knots but fortunately sea conditions were benign so there was little danger of her being blown into danger.
 
Once opposite Spitbank Fort and despite having restored power to three engines, she waited for a tug to escort her (with the Alfred Albert Williams following up astern) into the International Ferry Terminal where passengers and cars were eventually disembarked at 10.30am. The Alfred Albert Williams then returned to Bembridge and was recovered by 11am.
 
    
 
 

12th November

Bembridge RNLI’s All-Weather Lifeboat assists a 24m 220 ton trawler acting as a Guard Ship to the IFA2 cable laying project grounded on the submarine barrier between Horse Sand Fort and Southsea sea front
 
RNLB Alfred Albert Williams (Tamar All-Weather Lifeboat 16-17) was launched at the request of UK (Solent) Coastguard at just after 3pm this afternoon to assist the Guard-Ship Sharon Vale (a 24m 220 ton trawler supporting the IFA2 cable laying project with 5 crew onboard) that had run aground on the western side of the submarine barrier between Horse Sand Fort and Southsea sea front after her engines had failed and she had been unable to put an anchor down in time to stop her drifting eastwards with the wind & tide until she came up against the concrete blocks of the barrier.
 
It did not take long for the Alfred Albert Williams to reach the trawler, get alongside and to put two of her crew members onboard to assess the situation. It emerged that the collision with the block damaged the trawler which was taking on water which they were able to just contain using her own pumps. In deteriorating conditions, UK (Solent) CG endeavoured to get the crew of the trawler to abandon ship, however the skipper felt the situation was still containable, although he did agree to two of his crew transferring to the Alfred Albert Williams. At around 8pm the trawler refloated and drifted eastwards away from the barrier towards Langstone and after a short period her crew managed to drop an anchor. Meanwhile Yarmouth RNLI's Severn Class Lifeboat had been tasked to assist and to act as a guard over night.  Once she arrived on station the Alfred Albert Williams was released and having taken the two crew members from the trawler to the Camber returned to Bembridge and was recovered by 9.45pm.
 
A marine surveyor and a diver are due to be taken out to the trawler later this evening; in the meantime QHM has directed that the vessel is not to be moved without his authority. Depending on the outcome, the Alfred Albert Williams may be required to relieve Yarmouth's Lifeboat early (by 6am) tomorrow morning.
 
 
Photos by Bryan Jones & John Attrill
 
  
  
 

 13th November

RNLB Alfred Albert Williams (Tamar All-Weather Lifeboat 16-17) was re-launched at just after 5am to relieve Selsey RNLI's Shannon All-Weather Lifeboat which had swapped with Yarmouth overnight as the guard for the damaged trawler (G-V Sharon Vale) that remained at anchor just to the east of the submarine barrier off Southsea.

She was subsequently relieved by Yarmouth RNLI's Seven Class All-Weather Lifeboat at 12.30pm and returned to Bembridge and was recovered by 1pm.  Later in the afternoon divers located a 300mm crack in the trawlers hull and successfully repaired it using waterproof putty.   As the vessel was no longer in danger of sinking, and plans were set in hand for her to be towed into Southampton Water to Hythe to be slipped and repaired, Yarmouth RNLI were stood down at around 4.30pm and returned to Yarmouth.