Cowes RNLI went to the aid of the speedboat crew after a live electric cable had fouled the vessel's propeller at Wootton Creek on the Isle of Wight

The crew of a speedboat got into difficulty in Wootton Creek on the Isle of Wight after the vessel’s propeller became fouled on a live electric cable.

The skipper contacted the UK Coastguard, which deployed volunteers with the Cowes RNLI Lifeboat at 1.50am on Easter Sunday.

The RNLI crew were initially misdirected to the Folly area of the River Medina before arriving at Wootton Creek, where they found two men on board the 14-foot Hustler.

“We thought it must be a rope causing the problem, but instead found it was an electric cable extending from the shore to a nearby moored empty yacht, and was apparently live,” explained the Cowes lifeboat helm, Mark Harker.

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“It clearly presented a challenge, to say the least, but after quite a struggle – and thankfully with no electric shocks – we managed to untangle the cable, which had also become twisted,” he added.

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The speedboat’s crew disclosed that earlier, after leaving the Sloop Inn in Wootton with the intention of returning to their base in Portsmouth Harbour, they had also gone aground.

With the Hustler now free of the cable, it was towed to the Royal Victoria Yacht Club’s pontoon at Fishbourne, where the men were strongly advised to wait until it was light before proceeding on to Portsmouth.

The lifeboat returned to station at 3.15 am.

Harker said the experience had provided the crew with a salutary lesson. “Never assume that a line fouling a boat’s propeller is just a rope!”