Handheld VHF used to alert Solent Coastguard in heavy seas off the Needles

Four crew had to be rescued from the upturned hull of their RIB in heavy seas on Sunday, half a mile from Needles Point.

The crew of the RIB, Hornet had managed to climb onto the upturned hull after the capsize, and one of them made a handheld VHF radio call to Solent Coastguard. Another RIB Hot Lemon who overheard the call on Channel 16, stood by Hornet in worsening weather conditions until the coastguard rescue helicopter and Freshwater independent lifeboat arrived. The casualties, who had suffered no injuries apart from cold and slight shock, were taken to Lymington by the lifeboat and the helicopter was stood down.

The RIB was righted and towed to Yarmouth Harbour for return to the owner at a later date.

David Williams of Solent Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre commented:
‘This clearly demonstrates the importance of carrying handheld radios; without it, the situation could have deteriorated significantly, and with the wind rapidly increasing, the outcome could have been very different.’