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October 2015

31st October

At 09:30 on Saturday morning the Frank and Anne Wilkinson (relief Tamar 16-06) was launched at the request of Solent Coastguard to assist the Charlotte Rose, a 31ft charter angling boat from Langstone Harbour with 8 persons onboard that had broken down close to the Nab Tower.  Having ascertained that a local repair was not possible a tow was secured by 09:45 and the Charlotte Rose was towed back to Langstone.   The Frank and Anne Wilkinson then returned to Bembridge and was rehoused by 11:00.

10th October

Four lifeboats, a Type 45 Frigate, 2 helicopters, a cruise ship and a cruise ship's own rescue RIB were involved in a search to the south of the Island for a cruise ship passenger who was thought to have gone overboard during the ship’s return to Southampton following a 14-day cruise.

At 04:11 on Saturday morning the Frank and Anne Wilkinson (relief Tamar 16-06) was launched to conduct a search for a missing passenger from the cruise ship Ventura returning to Southampton after a 14 day cruise.   At the same time the rescue helicopter was tasked from Lee on Solent.
Initially the search was conducted off of the Luccombe/Dunnose area of the Island.   Selsey's ALB was initially launched to assist, however as the search area was adjusted to a position roughly 20 miles south of the Island she was returned to station.   At approximately 07:45, Yarmouth's Severn Class ALB was launched, however as they were making there way down towards the search area a crew man became ill and required evacuation.   Freshwater Independent Lifeboat was launched to carry out this evacuation, which had to be aborted due to the prevailing weather conditions.  The Frank and Anne Wilkinson meanwhile carried out search patterns in the suspected area where the passenger was last scene along with the Ventura who had reversed her course and the Ventura's own rescue rib which had been launched.
HMS Diamond a Type 45 Frigate was also tasked to assist in the search, and Yarmouth's ALB having returned their crewman to Yarmouth were re-tasked and proceeded to the search area.   With the Rescue helicopter having to refuel twice during the search, an additional helicopter from Portland was also tasked.
The on-scene weather conditions were described by Steve as a 2 m breaking sea with a force 5 to 6 ENE wind.  
Some 9 hours into the search the Bembridge lifeboat was stood down and returned to station re housing 3 minutes short of 10 hours from when she first went down the slip, having completed over 170 NM at sea.
The search was stood down later by Solent Coastguard with sadly nothing found.
At 19:35 the Coastguard once again paged and the Frank and Anne Wilkinson was launched to assist a 36' yacht Arcadia, with 4 persons onboard, which was near the entrance of Bembridge harbour; their engine was not working and the anchor was dragging.   Given the weather conditions, a force 5 easterly, and a little bit of confusion as to the exact position of the yacht, (a French crew unfamiliar with the area), the ILB (D-778, Norman Harvey) was brought to immediate readiness in case the ALB would not be able to get into a position to readily assist.
Having arrived on scene and assessed the situation, the Frank and Anne Wilkinson was able to pass a tow line and the Arcadia was pulled clear of the shore to deeper water.   With insufficient water (flooding tide) to enter Bembridge harbour and as it was not possible to repair the engine, it was decided to tow the yacht to Portsmouth harbour.   Having completed this the Frank and Anne Wilkinson returned to Bembridge and was rehoused by 22:00.