Novice skipper caught out in the dark

Boat Launched : Atlantic 85

Date: Sunday 12 October

Launched at : 18:58

Returned at : 20:50

Weather : Getting dark and raining with a NE F7 wind.

The Coastguard asked us to go to assist a 21 foot open dayboat with engine trouble, some 2 miles west of the Chichester Bar Beacon. The skipper had just purchased the boat from an elderly gentleman in Littlehampton but he didn’t have much boating experience. He nevertheless set out to travel to Southsea Marina in challenging weather having been told by the previous owner that there was sufficent fuel in the engine and spare fuel cans to get to Southsea. When in a position off Hayling the engine cut out and he found it had run out of fuel. He found the spare cans but they were empty as well leaving him powerless. Fortunately he had both GPS and a VHF radio so he called the coastguards and due to the increasing wind and tide was told to anchor. He had to admit he did not know how to do this! The lifeboat was launched but he was drifting rapidly. Using the radio DF kit and a chartplotter the lifeboat was however able to locate the casualty and put a crew member on board. A tow was established to take the casualty out of the danger of rolling over in choppy sea on the East Winner Bank, or of even worse drifting into the Shipping Channel with the possibility of being run down. Once safely into Langstone Harbour the vessel was taken to Southsea Marina and made secure, with a very grateful skipper on board, having had a very eventful and risky maiden voyage.

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Service Numbers 2018

Total Launches: 14
Atlantic 85: 9
D-Class: 5

Services Totals

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

Tide Times
Tide Times & Heights for Chichester Harbour (Entrance) on Sunday, 16 June 2019
Low Tide: 04:35 ( 1.00m )
High Tide: 11:44 ( 4.50m )
Low Tide: 16:55 ( 1.10m )
High Tide: 23:54 ( 4.70m )
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