The Yarmouth RNLI lifeboat was called out twice in 12 hours to assist the solo skipper of the Wallybird II in the western Solent.


The skipper of the Wallybird II had to contact the Yarmouth RNLI twice after running aground on Hamstead Ledge rocks in the western Solent.

Initially, the volunteer crew went to the assistance of the sailor at around 6.30pm on 9 June.

The Wallybird II had heeled over steeply when the tide dropped.

This meant the solo skipper could not deploy his anchor in preparation for refloating.

Once the Yarmouth RNLI lifeboat arrived at the yacht’s location, the small rigid inflatable Y boat (RIB) was launched. The crew deployed the anchor for the sailor.

It was estimated that the Wallybird II would refloat around 1.30am.

However, at 3.30am on 10 June, the volunteers with Yarmouth RNLI were again called out to the yacht.

A spokesman for Yarmouth RNLI said: “Although the skipper had managed to pull himself clear of the rocks as his yacht floated, it was only then that he discovered that his propeller had been damaged and he was unable to manoeuvre.”

As there was little or no wind, the sailor was unable to sail and was “drifting helplessly” towards Yarmouth Pier. 

The lifeboat reached the yacht just before 4am and took the vessel in tow into Yarmouth, where the boat arrived safely at 4.30am.