The Selsey all-weather lifeboat was called out to reports of an overdue yacht on Thursday August 16 at around 3.20am.
An RNLI Selsey spokesman said the ‘missing 20ft yacht Piglet’ had ‘two persons on board’, one of which was believed to have sustained a head injury.
The search of Chichester Harbour was conducted when the yacht ‘failed to turn up’ after arranging to meet a relative at 10.15pm on Wednesday.
However, following a call for backup from the Hayling RNLI lifeboat and a coastguard rescue helicopter, the yacht was found with ‘no injuries’ on board.
An RNLI Selsey statement read: “The yacht had last been in contact with a relative at 10.15pm on Wednesday 15 August, stating they had some sort of incident on board and one of them had sustained head injury.
“The relative had agreed to meet the yacht at Wittering close to the entrance to the harbour but after waiting for several hours the yacht failed to turn up so the UK Coastguards were informed.”
Concerns were intensified when the two mobile numbers given to the coastguards ‘were going to answer phone’ and there was ‘no VHF signal on the yacht’.
The statement added: “The ALB made best speed to the harbour and commenced a search from the entrance heading towards Bosham Channel.
“Selsey Coastguard team were also conducting a shore line search within the harbour.”
Hayling RNLI lifeboats were called ‘to assist the search’ at 4.29am, whilst the coastguard ‘scrambled the rescue helicopter’ due to the possible severity of the reported injury.
The spokesman said: “At 4.38am the crew on the ALB spotted the yacht aground just to the west of Itchenor jetty but couldn’t close the casualty so waited for the Hayling lifeboats to arrive.
“The Hayling D class was able to get alongside the yacht and confirm there were no injuries.
“The two persons were taken off the vessel and returned to Bosham quay where their car was parked.”
A Hayling RNlI statement said ‘it was best’ to take the persons on board to Boham quay, and ‘leave them to make arrangements’ for their yacht the next day.
See also: Concern for missing Chichester man