Yacht damaged in thunderstorm rescued off Selsey Bill

Three sailors were left without navigation aids and torn sails after getting caught in a thunderstorm off the Selsey Bill

Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 9:58 am
Updated Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 10:00 am

Selsey RNLI all-weather lifeboat launched yesterday after a 37ft sailing catamaran with three people on board reported to UK Coastguards that they had lost all navigation aids, had ripped sails and rigging after experiencing strong winds including an gust of around 100mph and rough seas during a thunderstorm in a position five nautical miles southeast of Selsey Bill.

The all-weather lifeboat (ALB) launched at 2.52am with a volunteer crew and made its way towards the position. While on the way, it was reported that one of the crew members had sustained a minor head injury.

The lifeboat arrived at 3.19am and the RNLI volunteers decided to tow the vessel to Chichester Harbour

The rescued catamaran - Picture courtesy of RNLI Selsey Lifeboat Station

Half-an-hour later, the skipper of the yacht reported another crewman had sustained a serious head injury, so the coxswain decided to drop the tow immediately and transfer a casualty care trained lifeboat crewman to the yacht to assess the injury.

Once the lifeboat crewman was aboard the yacht the injured crewman was checked and the injury was dressed.

There was no requirement for immediate evacuation, so the tow was established once again at 4.02am and a course set for Chichester harbour with the casualty with the head injury being monitored at all times and the lifeboat requested an ambulance meet them on arrival at the harbour.

At 5.10am the Chichester harbour entrance was reached, and the tow continued into the harbour. At 5.50am the vessel was safely berthed alongside at Sparkes marina with the assistance of Hayling Coastguard rescue team.

The ALB was released by the UK Coastguard and departed Sparkes marina at 6.09am.

The ALB returned to station at 6.45am and was recovered straight away washed down, refuelled and made ready for service.