GAFIRS were called out seven times between Friday and today, Monday 19 June, to assist yachts aground, an unmanned tender and a person who felt unwell in the heat
With hot temperatures all weekend, Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS) had their hands full and were called into action seven times in four days to assist boats in trouble.
On Friday 16 June at 9.30pm after a routine evening training session, crews were putting Gosport lifeboat away at Stokes Bay when UK Coastguard called on the volunteers to assist a vessel aground on Bramble Bank in The Solent.
The 30-foot yacht, which had two people on board, had run aground on the bank near Southampton Water.
GAFIRS senior coxswain Brian Pack said: “We were able to get to the scene in less than 10 minutes as the crew and lifeboat was ready to launch, thanks to some evening training.
“When we arrived, I placed a crewman on board the casualty vessel who assessed for any damage. He then rigged an astern tow and we slowly eased the vessel off the bank.”
GAFIRS lifeboat escorted the vessel back towards Cowes, Isle of Wight, to ensure it returned to port safely. The operation lasted two hours.
At 6am on Saturday, 17 June, GAFIRS was paged by UK Coastguard and asked to assist a second boat that had run aground in Portsmouth Harbour. A crewman jumped on board the yacht, which had six people on board, and the lifeboat pulled the vessel free.
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A few hours later, at 11.08am, UK Coastguard called on GAFIRS to investigate an unmanned tender which had been spotted near Lee-on-the-Solent. Crews found the 8ft vessel was waterlogged and after checking for anybody on board or persons missing, they identified the owner thanks to a sticker on the craft and safely returned it.
Later that afternoon GAFIRS helped a person in their tender get back on their yacht near Seaview on the Isle of Wight after they had been in the water for 20 minutes and became exhausted.
The skipper had been attempting to clear a fouled prop and needed assistance. A paramedic GAFIRS crewman assessed the casualty and decided further treatment was necessary as he had inhaled sea water.
The vessel was towed back to Bembridge and the skipper handed to ambulance crews for further treatment.
The same day, in the afternoon GAFIRS helped a small mirror dinghy and then on Sunday gave first aid to a member of the public who had become unwell at Stokes Bay.
Finally today, Monday 19 June at 9.48pm, Gosport’s inshore lifeboat was tasked to investigate a Personal Locator Beacon that had been activated in Camber Dock, Portsmouth. The reports turned out to be a false alarm.
Mr Pack added: “As the weather hots up, so often does the work of lifeboats in The Solent. So far this year we’ve now tackled 52 incidents and it’s looking like it could be another very busy year for your local independent lifeboat station.”