A fire scare aboard a yacht turned out to be steam caused by burst hot water pipes.

Bembridge and Cowes RNLI lifeboats rushed to a yacht that reported a fire aboard yesterday afternoon.

The 34ft Cara had left Island Harbour in the River Medina when the Christchurch couple aboard were shocked to see what saw the cabin filled with what they perceived to be smoke.

After alerting Solent Coastguards, the couple used their mainsail to proceed from off Gurnard to west of Beaulieu River.

When the two lifeboats arrived on the scene Cowes lifeboat ferried the Bembridge lifeboat mechanic over to the yacht who reported that the ‘smoke’ was in fact steam caused by escaping water from a broken pipe dropping on to the engine.

Credit Bembridge RNLI

Bembridge RNLI lifeboat track

A Bembridge RNLI spokesman said lifeboat volunteers launched just after 3pm and at the request of Solent Coastguard.

Initially thought to be off Seaview, it eventually transpired that the yacht was in fact off Egypt Point, between Cowes and Gunard.

The spokesman said: ‘Once it became clear where the yacht actually was, Cowes’s Atlantic 85 (B-859 Sheena Louise) was also launched to assist.

‘Having arrived on scene our mechanic was immediately transferred to the yacht by the Sheena Louise to check what the problem was. He quickly identified that there had not in fact been a fire, merely some hot water pipes had burst which had created a lot of smoke/steam.’

As Bembridge lifeboat left the scene to return to its station, Cowes crewman Alasdair Boden was put on board to take the Cara’s helm.

Making use of a furling genoa sail and a brisk westerly, he then proceeded to take the yacht to Cowes, without the need for a tow from the lifeboat. Throughout however the lifeboat stood by as a precaution.

The Cara was eventually sailed into Cowes harbour, where Newport coastguards were on hand to assist in bringing it alongside Trinity Landing.

 

A typical reefed sail plan on a cruising yacht – the leech pennant needs to be tighter and the headsail car is too far aft – but it’s better than many. Credit: SailingScenes.com

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