The blustery winds experienced by the J P Morgan Round the Island Race competitors kept the Yarmouth All Weather Lifeboat (ALB) ’ The Eric and Susan Hiscock (Wanderer)’ at sea for more than 12 hours on Saturday.
During that time, they assisted an injured crewman who had fallen overboard from the yacht Venom. Before the lifeboat could reach him, he had been plucked out of the water by another competitor but his injuries were such that he had to be airlifted from the lifeboat to hospital by the coastguard helicopter.
Shortly after this incident, the yacht Firefly hit the wreck of the Varvassi off the Needles injuring one of her crewmen. The lifeboat swiftly returned to Yarmouth with the casualty where he was transferred to hospital by ambulance. The Varvassi wreck is a constant hazard to Round the Island sailors.
At 1.30pm the RNLI lifeboat was called to assist the yacht El Tiburon . One of her crew had suffered a serious head injury and, after first aid had been administered by a lifeboat crewman it was decided that the casualty should be airlifted to hospital.
On its return passage to Yarmouth, the lifeboat was tasked to help the yacht Galadriel which was paralysed by engine and steering failure. A tow was established and the yacht taken to Lymington where repairs could be effected.
Sunday and Monday saw further strong winds resulting in two more calls for RNLI help. On Sunday the yacht Showtime was unable to furl its sails. A lifeboat crewman was put aboard and assisted with an emergency furling procedure.
On Monday, the H.M. Services yacht British Soldier called for assistance following steering failure. However the crew had managed to rig an emergency steering system so the lifeboat escorted them to Yarmouth after which they were able to continue on to their home port, Gosport.
In the course of the three days, the lifeboat was at sea for 151/2 hours.
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