UK. Solent Coastguard responds to hand held radio call from people on capsized RIB

Monday, 20 November 2006

Four people were found on top of their upturned hull half a mile off Needles Point in heavy sea yesteday afternoon, after raising the alarm from their handheld radio.

Solent Coastguard requested the launch of the Freshwater Solent Sea Rescue Organisation Independent lifeboat and scrambled the Coastguard Rescue helicopter 'India Juliet' to assist the rib 'Hornet' which had capsized about half a mile off Needles Point in heavy seas.  Needles Coastguard Rescue team were also requested to staff the Coastguard lookout at the Needles to observe the rib.

The four crew climbed onto the upturned hull and one of them made a handheld radio call to Solent Coastguard.  The rib 'Hot Lemon' was nearby and, hearing the communications on channel 16, located and stood by the 'Hornet' in increasing weather conditions until Rescue helicopter and Freshwater lifeboat arrived on scene. Freshwater lifeboat took the four crew on board and confirmed that they had suffered no injuries although they were cold and slightly shocked, and therefore helicopter evacuation was not necessary.

Freshwater lifeboat then managed to tow the 'Hornet' to Totland Bay, Isle of Wight, still inverted.  It was left in the care of Needles Coastguard Rescue team and some of the lifeboat crew, while the lifeboat took the four crew from 'Hornet' back to Lymington where Lymington Coastguard Rescue team met them.

Returning to Totland Bay, Freshwater lifeboat and Needles Coastguard Rescue team managed to right the 'Hornet', and towed it to Yarmouth Harbour for the owner to return at a later date.

David Williams, Solent Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre said: "This clearly demonstrates the importance of carrying handheld radios; without it, the situation could have deteriorated significantly as the people concerned would have been unable to raise the alarm so quickly, and with the wind rapidly increasing, the outcome could have been very different."

Last Updated ( Monday, 20 November 2006 )