The yacht's forestay had snapped leaving the yacht in a precarious situation near Southsea seafront

Pan Pan emergency

radio call alerted rescuers when a yacht’s forestay snapped off the Hampshire coast.


relief Atlantic class lifeboat was launched at

midday on Sunday after hearing the emergency call from the yacht, which was in serious difficulty, approximately one mile off

Southsea seafront.

The RNLI lifeboat had just returned from morning exercise

when the emergency call was heard over the boat’s VHF radio. The yacht’s forestay had snapped leaving the yacht in a precarious


The volunteer lifeboat crew

immediately sprang into action, re-launched and raced towards the

troubled yacht, arriving on-scene at the submarine barrier within 10


With the assistance of a

nearby passing power boat, the yacht had managed to lower its mainsail

and intended to proceed under power to the nearest safe harbour, but

still had the jib in pieces and part trailing in the water,

potentially fouling the propeller.

After the stricken yacht had already struggled to navigate the narrow

outer boat passage it was decided that the lifeboat crew would place a

crewman on board to assist the owners, relieve the responding pleasure

craft’s crewman, and then escort the vessel into Langstone Harbour.

Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue‘s independent lifeboat

stood by relaying communications to Solent Coastguard in the choppy


With the volunteer RNLI crewman on board, the torn sails were

recovered from the water and the yacht made way to Langstone. The

remainder of the torn jib was stuck out of reach flapping aggressively

in the force 4-5 winds.

On approach to the harbour the sea state

picked up with waves around 2 metres, throwing the yacht side to side,

making the damaged forestay a greater concern.

The lifeboat continued to

escort the vessel until they had reached the safety of Southsea Marina

where the lifeboat crew and marina staff assisted with the mooring

before returning to station.

Picture credit: RNLI/Portsmouth