‘Star Runner’ rescued

Boat launched : Atlantic 85

Date : Wednesday 26 August

Launched at : 19:37

Returned at : 21:00

Weather : Light fading with a WSW F5 wind

A classic yacht lost all engine power and anchored in a nasty sea over the W Pole Bank off the mouth of Chichester Harbour at 19:00 on Wednesday 26 August. They made a PAN PAN emergency call for help and the Hayling Lifeboat Derrick Battle towed them to safety.


Star Rnner on tow

Star Rnner on tow

The Lifeboat Station crew had assembled for their regular Wednesday evening training session when they heard a PAN PAN emergency call from a yacht ‘Star Runner’ on the VHF radio. The Duty Launch Authority phoned the UK Coastguard and after discussing the casualty, apparently a 13metre 19 ton traditional yacht anchored close to the W Pole mark, it was agreed the Atlantic 85 would launch and go to their assistance.

The lifeboat quickly found the casualty but experienced a nasty sea and a rough ride with 4m waves caused by the WSW Force 5 wind and the shallow bank. After being in this sea for some time the casualties’ two crew were exhausted. Helm Andy Ferguson said ‘We approached the yacht to put a crew member on board but the bow of the vessel was moving up and down some 4 metres in the waves and we were in danger of a 13 ton hull coming down onto the lifeboat. On the second run in crewmember Steve Gosling managed to jump onto the foredeck with sea water cascading around him.’ The anchor proved impossible for Steve, the yacht’s skipper, and the crew to get up, so a tow rope was set up, the anchor rope cut and buoyed, and the yacht was towed south to get out of the breaking waves on the bank.

All went well and in better sea conditions they turned north for safe harbour but the heavy yacht and the sea movement caused the tow rope to break. Having re-set it the yacht was towed into the harbour, (pictured) an alongside tow was set up, and the yacht was taken to a safe mooring in Sparkes Marina where she was met by the local Coastguards.

This was a difficult rescue and one which has caused a former and well respected lifeboat helm to praise Andy Ferguson and the crew for successfully bringing the casualty vessel and her two crew to safety.


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) onThursday, 04 March 2021
High Tide:02:46 ( 4.80m )
Low Tide:08:11 ( 0.80m )
High Tide:15:05 ( 4.60m )
Low Tide:20:35 ( 0.90m )
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