Sailing boat struck by lightning off Isle Of Wight

Yarmouth’s Severn class all-weather lifeboat (ALB), Eric and Susan Hiscock (Wanderer), launched yesterday to assist a 40ft sailing vessel with electrical failure and a potential engine fire following a lightning strike.

The RNLI volunteer crew arrived on scene west of Newtown Creek and two crew members were put on board the stricken yacht to assess the situation. Although they were very shaken by their experience, all four crew were uninjured. 

The RNLI reports that the electrical systems had been destroyed by the lightning strike leaving the engine still running with no means of turning it off. Yarmouth lifeboat crew disabled the engine and checked for hot spots.

The Severn class lifeboat secured an alongside tow and brought the casualty vessel into Yarmouth harbour. The yacht was then handed over into the care of local fire crews from Freshwater and Newport along with the Needles coastguard rescue teams for further fire safety and welfare checks

Coxswain, Howard Lester, said: “The yacht’s crew had taken appropriate safety measures before setting sail, they were wearing life jackets and had an alternative means of calling for help. Having discovered their VHF radio had been disabled, they called the coastguard by telephone on 999.”

Images courtesy of RNLI/Teresa Fox.

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