A training session in the Solent for the crew of Cowes RNLI on Saturday (17th September) turned out to be more serious when they were tasked to go to the aid of a dismasted yacht in Osborne Bay.
The yacht, the Hamble-based 36 foot Osprey, was taking part in a race when half their mast came crashing down in the Force 6 south-westerly. Fortunately none of the crew was harmed. When told of the incident at 12 noon by Solent Coastguards the lifeboat, helmed by Richard O’Callaghan, was entering Cowes Harbour after three hours of training.
On arrival at Osborne Bay one lifeboat member was put aboard the yacht to assist in he time-consuming task of dealing with the hanging sails and tangled rigging. The biggest challenge was the retrieval of a genoa which had become wrapped under the hull.
Eventually the yacht, which by then had drifted down to Ryde Middle Buoy, was able to proceed under its own power back to Hamble, escorted by the lifeboat. Cowes lifeboat had been away from its Shepards Wharf Marina station for a total of five hours.