Three rescues for RNLI Selsey Lifeboat crew

The yacht Mojito is rescued by the RNLI during the Round The Island race
The yacht Mojito is rescued by the RNLI during the Round The Island race

HEROES from the Selsey Lifeboat Station had a busy weekend after being called to no fewer than three different rescues.

Teams went to the aid of two stricken yachts and a missing diver on Saturday and Sunday (June 27 and June 28).

The crew first went to the rescue of a yacht which got into trouble in the Solent. The yacht Mojito, which was competing in the Round the Island Race off the Isle of Wight, 
got into difficulties when its spinnaker control lines got tangled around the sail, propeller and rudder.

It required the efforts of both Selsey and Hayling Island RNLI lifeboats to tow the boat back into the safety of Chichester Harbour.

Max Gilligan from the Selsey RNLI said the volunteer crew were paged at 4pm on Saturday after the Solent Coastguard received a distress call from the 36ft yacht, reporting rigging failure. The Mojito crew were forced to abandon the race.

But there was no rest for the team as they made two further rescues on Sunday.

The crew were paged at 2.20pm on Sunday after the 34ft, eight-tonne yacht Capreolus radioed an emergency call stating they had run aground off Selsey Bill on the Mixon reef.

Max said: “The vessel was laying over so the inshore lifeboat crew checked the two persons aboard were okay and were happy to remain on the yacht which was on passage from Littlehampton to Southampton.

“During the return to station at 5.46pm a local dive boat conducting a drift dive with seven divers reported he had no visual contact with the divers’ surface marker buoy (SMB).”

Two lifeboats were sent to the scene at 5.59pm and immediately started searching for the missing divers.

Shortly after 6pm, the divers started surfacing and six were recovered to the divers’ boat.

However, with one diver still missing, a lifeboat and helicopter were sent to the scene to assist with the search.

The diver was found at 6.15pm.

The lifeboat crews included ALB coxswain Willy Pledger, second cox Geoff Mellett, mechanic Phil Pitham, Colin Pullenger, Max Wiseman, Pip Skeet and Kristina Dolan, helmsman Rob Archibald, Andy Lee and Dan Langford.

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