Dinghy capsizes due to waves and shifting wind.

Boat Launched : Atlantic 85

Date : Saturday 4 October

Launched at : 11:00

Returned at : 11:57

Weather : At first fine but breezy with a F5 SW wind, but veering to NW F5 and with heavy rain.

casualty being pulled into the lifeboat

Casualty being pulled into the lifeboat

The owner of an immaculate wooden GP14 dinghy, kept in the Bosham Boat Pound, travelled down to  sail it with a friend. They set out in fine but breezy weather and made their way down Chichester Harbour to the entrance. So far so good. They then decided to venture out of the harbour and didn’t take account of the strong SW wind over a rapidly ebbing tide, which had produced a lumpy sea off the harbour mouth. As they sailed into this area the wind suddenly veered to NW and gusts increased under a weather front which produced heavy rain. The GP14 came off a wave and the wind caught it breaking the boom. Immediately the mainsail billowed and the boat capsized. The crew tried to right the boat but with a sail now full of water they snapped the centreboard. Luckily the skipper had had the foresight to bring a waterproof VHF radio and he made a Mayday call for help. The Altantic 85 was paged by the Coastguard, launched within 7 minutes of the call and reached the casualties in 4 minutes. The GP14 was being pounded by the waves as she lay on her side. One casualty stated he felt unwell having swallowed sea water and so he was taken aboard the lifeboat (pictured being pulled into the lifeboat) and transferred to the lifeboat station. Colin Parke, crewmember, was left on the scene in a Hayling Island Sailing Club rib, and Colin was able to right the dinghy with the second casualty aboard. Although the Atlantic 85 returned quickly, the second casualty was now very cold and suffering from Hypothermia and not at all well. He was quickly taken ashore by the HISC rib where the station paramedic and then Ambulance personnel gave him attention including the use of oxygen as his breathing was very erratic. The Atlantic then with Colin aboard, organised a tow for the dinghy having to cut some of its rigging in order to take the damaged mast out and stow it on board. The tow was undertaken in a considerable sea so that as Colin commented ‘It was pretty rough so that when a wave overtook me I lost sight of the lifeboat until I rode the next wave!’ Both casualties recovered quite quickly and were declared ‘fit and well’ by the ambulance crew. Both expressed their deep gratitude to all the services concerned for their rescue. The GP14 dinghy was carried into the lifeboat station and was collected later by the skipper.


Service Numbers 2019

Total Launches: 84
Atlantic 85: 42
D-Class: 42

Services Totals

2015 - 67
2014 -77
2013 - 86
2012 - 77

Tide Times
Tide Times & Heights for Chichester Harbour (Entrance) on Sunday, 27 September 2020
Low Tide: 01:59 ( 1.80m )
High Tide: 09:35 ( 3.90m )
Low Tide: 14:29 ( 1.80m )
High Tide: 22:06 ( 3.90m )
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