The 40ft cruiser was in danger of being swept onto the Shingle Bank

A dismasted yacht that was being swept along by a spring tide sparked an RNLI rescue.


the Lymington inshore RNLI lifeboat and the all weather RNLI Yarmouth

lifeboat were called to assist the stricken 40ft yacht, Sea Jay IV, in

high winds off Hurst Castle on 20 March.

Sea Jay crew called for help when the yacht’s mast collapsed as a result of ‘catastrophic gear failure’ and went

overboard. The yacht had left Lymington earlier in 25 knots of wind

with five people on board.

After the cruiser dismasted, the crew members were unable to get

their anchor to hold and were drifting to the west

in the fast ebbing spring tide, towards the notorious Shingle Bank on the North Eastern side of

the Needles Channel.

The Lymington inshore lifeboat went to

their aid at first; Two RNLI volunteers went aboard to release the anchorline and

secure the tow before taking the boat into calmer waters out of the main

tide and into the lee of the Island shore.

But the tide and wind prevented them from completing

the rescue.

The more powerful Yarmouth lifeboat, The Eric and Susan

Hiscock (Wanderer) was then called to the scene at 4.30pm and, after

giving further assistance, took the yacht in tow through the strong tide to Yarmouth. No one

was hurt.

Once safely berthed RNLI crews assisted in recovery of the fallen rig onto a pontoon before returning to station.


Lymington would like to thank their Yarmouth colleagues for their

assistance and the crews of Wightlink ferries ‘Wight Sun and Wight Sky

for helping to establish the yachts location.

Picture credits: RNLI/Peter Mills and RNLI/Rob Scott