The Yarmouth RNLI Lifeboat, The Eric and Susan Hiscock(Wanderer) was kept on its toes over Old Gaffers’ Weekend.
She was open to the public on both Friday and Saturday and was scheduled to give a rescue demonstration with the Coastguard Helicopter at 2.40pm off Yarmouth pier.
While families were enjoying looking round the lifeboat on Saturday 4 June the maroons were set off and all were sent ashore to enable the lifeboat to go to the assistance of the yacht Flying Cloud with engine failure in the fast running tide between Fort Victoria and Hurst Castle. The lifeboat took her in tow and brought her safely into Yarmouth. As a result of this the RNLI demonstration off Yarmouth pier was slightly delayed but nonetheless the crowds waited for their return in glorious sunshine. They were not disappointed – the crews of both the helicopter and the lifeboat put on a display of consummate skill and seamanship.
At 2am on 5 June the lifeboat was again called out to a particularly difficult rescue only just outside Yarmouth Harbour. Two yachts, Ivy and Summer Breeze, which had been anchored off Norton beach, dragged their anchors in a very strong northerly wind and had been blown up on to the beach, taking with them the swimming boundary buoys and associated ropes which had fouled the propeller and steering of Summer Breeze.
The area was also too shallow for the lifeboat to approach the casualties, so the inflatable Y-boat had to be launched in order to get a line to the yachts. The area is also crowded with mooring buoys which presented additional hazards for the lifeboat and demanded very skilful handling from her coxswain, Howard Lester. It was not until some two hours later that both yachts were pulled to safety.
Visiting families again had to be evacuated off the lifeboat at 4.45pm the same day. She was called to assist the yacht, Aeolis, who had been a star attraction at the Old Gaffers’ Festival. Aeolis was experiencing intermittent engine trouble on passage back to the Hamble and called for a tow back into Yarmouth for repairs.