The RNLI lifeboats of Cowes, Lymington and Yarmouth were kept busy in the western Solent this morning, dealing with yachts battling through a brisk south-westerly on the outward leg of the annual Round the Island Race from Cowes.
An early emergency involved the 20 foot Itch, with seven people on board, which lost its mast off Egypt Point. It was eventually towed back to Cowes by the local lifeboat.
Another dismasting concerned the yacht Pelican, in Thorness Bay. Cowes lifeboat first attempted to tow the boat but it was found there was too much debris in the water. Lifeboat crewman Chris Adams. already on the yacht, was joined by Pete Tarrant. Together they managed lift the debris, including the mast, on to the deck. The yacht was then able to proceed under its own power back to Cowes.
A further alert concerned a yachtsman on First Love, complaining of chest pains. Chris Adams was put aboard to administer First Aid; the man was eventually transferred to Lymington lifeboat and then air-lifted to Southampton by the coastguard helicopter.
A more dramatic incident occurred near Hurst Point, when the catamaran Aquae Sulis capsized. All the crew were quickly recovered from the water.
The yacht Firefly damaged its hull when it struck an old submerged wreck off The Needles. The skipper indicated they were able to make their own way to Hamble, but requested help for a woman aboard who received a head injury. She was first put on Lymington lifeboat and then transferred to Yarmouth lifeboat and landed at Yarmouth.
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