12 Aug Another busy weekend for Lifeboat Crews
Busy Weekend leads to warning from Lifeboat Crews
Last Weekend saw Volunteer crews from Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service respond to 5 calls in just 24 hours, comprising of 2 Medical incidents, 1 sinking, 1 vessel on fire and 1 unattended drifting vessel.
The first call came on Saturday evening when Crews were paged to investigate a tender that was found adrift at the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour. Working with Queens Harbour Master and MOD police (who had recovered the small boat) it was found that no persons were in distress and the Lifeboat was stood down to return to the station.
The Sunday duty day for crews saw a flurry of calls come in, the first was following multiple DSC distress alerts and a Mayday call from the vessel Sky Pilot with two persons onboard, reporting a fire in their engine compartment.
Whilst entering Portsmouth harbour, the lifeboat crew were advised that the MOD Police launch Lewis was alongside the Sky Pilot, they reported the fire was extinguished and the 2 persons onboard were both well. The fire tug SD Bountiful was also dispatched by the Queens Harbour Master, QHM Portsmouth.
As the situation onboard Sky Pilot had now stabilised, the lifeboat continued at slow speed from the harbour mouth to rendezvous with the police launch which now had the Sky Pilot under tow for Blockhouse, Gosport. Once alongside, the Gosport lifeboat confirmed that the vessel were content to cancel their Mayday call and confirmed with the police launch crew that fire brigade presence was not required on arrival at the berth in Blockhouse.
For ease of berthing, the tow of the Sky Pilot was transferred to the Gosport Lifeboat as they neared Blockhouse.
Whilst returning to station, UK Coastguard tasked the Gosport lifeboat to reports of a vessel with 4 persons onboard, sinking off Ryde pier.
The lifeboat was on scene within 4 minutes of being tasked, a vessel matching the description was located alongside a pontoon at the north end of the pier. The RIB had suffered damage to its inflatable sponson and subsequently become swamped, whilst bailing out the water, its crew had managed to reach the safety of the pier head.
The 4 persons were very keen to make their own way back to the Hamble river under their own power. Concerned for their welfare, the Gosport Lifeboat maintained a watchful eye as the craft headed back towards the Hamble.
Since Sunday, our volunteer crews have been tasked another 5 times, bringing the total number of incidents so far this year to 98 and pushing us towards our busiest ever year.
Community Director Tom Clark said ‘We are urging everyone who visits the coastline in the hot weather to take extra care and be prepared for your trip. Our crews have responded to 98 calls this year and with the heatwave continuing that number is expected to keep growing’.
Picture – Portsmouth Harbour during Saturday night’s incident