THE PRINCESS Royal visited Chidham yesterday and offered a helping hand to some sailors.
Throughout the visit to the Christian Youth Enterprises, she was shown around the centre and taken on board the TS Resolute, the £1.25m activity centre that was opened in April, 2011.
Princess Anne boarded a safety boat to go out onto the water.
Just before her return to shore, the boat diverted to check on a Wanderer dinghy that overturned – which two people were struggling to right it.
The pair were surprised to see the Princess Royal appear on the scene, but nevertheless were able to right the boat and carry on without needing royal assistance.
Fleet manager Chris McLeish steered the rib that carried Princess Anne.
“It’s one of those things,” he said afterwards of the overturned boat. “It may have looked more dramatic from the shore than it was from in the boat.
“But there was a dinghy, I believe it was a Wanderer, capsized with their mast under another boat.
“I considered helping them out, the trouble is when you’ve got passengers in a rib you’re not as effective as a safety boat.
“I said I would drop them at the jetty and go back and help the boat and someone on board said: ‘Oh it will only take two seconds we might as well do it now’.
“Actually by the time we’d manoeuvred into a position where we could help it was apparent that they didn’t really need any help.”
Princess Anne unveiled a plaque designed by Catherine Daley.
It read: “To commemorate the visit of HRH The Princess Royal, President, Royal Yachting Association, to CYE Sailing Centre on 25th July, 2013.”