With less than 6 hours before Steve Simmonds retires after 15 years as Coxswain of Bembridge Lifeboat, RNLB Alfred Albert Williams (Tamar All-Weather Lifeboat 16-17) was tasked (at 6.20pm) by UK (Solent) Coastguard to look for two Jet Skis thought to be somewhere between Bembridge and Hayling Island; apparently one had run out of fuel and was under tow by the other. A third Jet Ski had, in the meantime had gone off to try to get hold of some fuel and had last been seen in Wootton Creek.
Whilst the Alfred Albert Williams was heading to the most likely area to start the search, she came across a small speedboat (Wet & Wild) with two crew that had also run out of fuel. The Alfred Albert Williams stood by and through UK (Solent) CG arranged for Portsmouth RNLI’s Atlantic 85 that was in transit at the time from Portsmouth to her boathouse in Langstone Harbout, to tow the speedboat to safety.
On resuming her search for the missing jet skis, the Alfred Albert Williams went to the assistance of a 34ft yacht (Timitu) with four crew on board that had reported a problem with their engine (thought to be a small fire); as there was no wind, it was decided to tow her to Portsmouth. Having safely berthed the yacht in Haslar Marina, the Alfred Albert Williams returned to Bembridge and was rehoused by 9.15pm. A nice one for Steve to finish on!
Three further Jet Skis were subsequently located by Portsmouth’s Atlantic 85 safe on Hayling Beach.