Sunday, 13 July 2008

Where should I begin?

Blimey it's been busy! So busy in fact that I've not had time to sit down at the computer to check my e-mails, let alone post any updates here. Since finishing school last Friday I spent Saturday and Sunday riding the 'South Downs Way' with MarkR. Monday and Tuesday were spent guiding my father-in-law around some of the local sights. On Wednesday and Thursday DaveT, Chad, Matt and I took Amble's Mersey from Poole to Falmouth to be re-fitted. Friday I spent at home doing gardening jobs until my pager went off at about 4pm. I then spent the next 7 hours at sea on the Mersey dealing with an unusual situation where a yacht and it's keel had almost but not quite parted company.

As we proceeded at full speed towards the yachts position 16 miles SSE of Anvil point help was being rendered (coincidentally) by HMS Mersey. By the time we arrived the influx of water had been stemmed and an injured crewman removed to HMS Mersey. We used the sea boat from HMS Mersey to transfer me across to the yacht so that the situation could be assessed. After consultation with the skipper and the Royal Naval crewman who was onboard (who turned out to be on the crew of the Portsmouth lifeboat) it was decided to remove all the crew except myself and the skipper using the seaboat and then take the yacht in tow and then head in the direction which seemed least likely to make the keel fall off! Ultimately this resulted in us towing her in the direction of the Isle of Wight.

Normally in this sort of situation we would hand the vessel over to the next lifeboat along the coast (in this case it would have been Yarmouth) however, the Coxwain wisely decided against doing this as it would have meant a second transfer of the 7 crew from the un-necessary risk.

After a pretty lengthy tow we finally arrived in Lymington where we headed straight for the boat hoist in Berthons and had the yacht lifted out of the water. Upon inspection the yacht had clearly suffered a catastrophic failure of the GRP laminate around the hull and it was hard to ascertain exactly what was keeling the keel attached.

After a quick bite of fish and chips we headed straight back to Swanage and were re-housed at about 11.45pm. As a final flourish the starboard morse control on the Upper Steering Position failed just as Martin was putting her on the slip. Poor old DaveT then had to spend the next hour fixing this.

A long day...


Anonymous said...

Good work John and all.

Excuse my ignorance - what is a 'morse control'?

Mark R

lifeboatjohn said...

The throttle lever, conected hydraulically to the engine.