RNLI Selsey responds to concerns for elderly lone sailor on yacht near Bognor Pier

The RNLI responded to an emergency 999 call near Bognor Pier on Saturday (September 25).

Monday, 27th September 2021, 6:03 pm
Updated Monday, 27th September 2021, 6:04 pm

A member of the public reported their concerns for an elderly lone sailor on board a yacht close to Bognor Pier at lunchtime.

The Selsey D class inshore lifeboat (ILB) launched at 12.50pm and, upon arrival, made contact with the lone occupant.

"The man who was very agile for his age said he was very embarrassed that the lifeboat had been called," an RNLI Selsey Lifeboat spokesperson said.

A member of the public reported their concerns for an elderly lone sailor on board a yacht close to Bognor Pier. Photo: RNLI Selsey Lifeboat Station

"He went on to say he had left Chichester Harbour that morning and, after rounding Selsey Bill, the wind had dropped so he started using the motor to get to Littlehampton.

"After struggling close inshore, he realised his fuel would soon run out so decided to stop close to Bognor Pier and anchor while he went ashore in his kayak to try and get some fuel (not knowing the panic buying that had happened the day before)."

The yachtsman returned to his craft 'thinking someone was going to get him some fuel', the RNLI said.

They added: "When the ILB arrived on scene the anchor wasn’t holding as it was damaged.

RNLI crews respond to the emergency call-out. Photo: RNLI Selsey Lifeboat Station

"The ILB dropped a crewman ashore to speak with Littlehampton Coastguard Rescue team and the first informant before returning to yacht.

"After the man was assessed by a casualty care lifeboat crewman a line was passed to the vessel and a tow established between the two boats."

The ILB helmsman decided to tow the yacht towards Littlehampton Harbour and requested the Littlehampton lifeboat be launched to take over the tow nearer to the harbour.

By 2.10pm, the casualty was handed over to Littlehampton lifeboat, which towed the yacht back to the harbour.