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