Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Selsey and Bembridge lifeboats go to the aid of a lone sailor on a 99-year-old ex RNLI lifeboat.

Selsey and Bembridge lifeboats go to the aid of a lone sailor on a 99-year-old ex RNLI lifeboat.

The UK coastguard received a Mayday distress call from the vessel stating the lone sailor had been injured and was unable to properly control the craft.

He gave a position that indicated he was approximately five miles south of Chichester harbour.

The Coastguards immediately paged Bembridge (I.o.W) all weather lifeboat (ALB) which was the nearest to that position. Bembridge ALB were unable to locate the vessel.

After the Coastguards spoke to the casualty vessel again the skipper said he was unsure of his position but believed he was further to the east.

At this point the Selsey ALB was paged to assist in locating the vessel.

The Selsey ALB launched at 2.02am and immediately contacted the casualty vessel, and using Direction Finding equipment was able to give bearing but not distance from the lifeboat.

ON-682 at front of possession on the Thames in 1924 marking the RNLI 100 years.

Bembridge ALB were also using their DF equipment and both lifeboats were soon closing the vessel with both on scene at 2.18am.

The weather on scene was wind south west force 4 sea state moderate in clear sky.

Bembridge ALB transferred two of their crewmen to the vessel to assess the condition of the casualty.

It was decided that Bembridge ALB would leave the two crewmen aboard the vessel whilst they towed it to Portsmouth Harbour and Selsey ALB would take the injured casualty to Sparkes Marina inside Chichester Harbour to meet an Ambulance.

At 2.55am the casualty was transferred to the Selsey ALB, and a course was set for Sparkes.

On arrival at Sparkes the Hayling Coastguard Rescue Team met the lifeboat and took the casualty to the harbour office to await the Ambulance which was 15 minutes away.

The Selsey ALB was released to return station at 3.43am and arrived back at Selsey at 4.48am and was recovered straight away.

Bembridge ALB arrived in Portsmouth at 6.10am

The crew tonight were

Coxswain James Albrey,

Mechanic Phil Pitham,

Colin Pullenger,

Will Moir,

Max Wiseman,

Tim Scott.

The shore crew were

Head launcher Simon Hutt,

SLARS Driver Chris Bowling,

Richard Wiseman,

Frank Corby,

Mark Penny,

Richard Brady

The casualty vessel is a 60ft Barnett class lifeboat ON-682 built in 1923, the first one of the class and the first lifeboat to have twin engines and twin propellers.

Stationed at New Brighton 1923-1950 the present owner hopes to sail it to South Africa.

Photos show ON-682 at front of possession on the Thames in 1924 marking the RNLI 100 years.

And the other taken approximately 10yrs ago.

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