Selsey Lifeboat Station - Launches

30th May 2017

Selsey RNLI Lifeboat Responds to Mayday Call

Yxilium Yxilium

UK Coastguard (Solent) received the Mayday distress call from the 42-foot Belgian yacht 'Yxilium' which had been dismasted approximately 5 miles south west of Selsey Bill. The yacht, with two crew aboard, was on passage from Belgium to Ireland.

The volunteer crew were paged at 3.39 p.m. on Tuesday 30th May 2017 and the Lifeboat cleared the moorings at 4 p.m. and headed at best speed towards the yacht. The Royal Navy frigate, 'HMS Westminster', had also responded to the distress call and launched their sea boat with a crew of four to offer assistance to the 'Yxilium'. The weather on scene was wind south westerly 4-5 sea state moderate in sunshine.

At 4.25 p.m. the Lifeboat arrived on scene and two crewmembers were transferred from the Lifeboat to the yacht by the Navy sea boat. The mast had fractured close to the deck and so there were at least 19 -20 metres over the side of the yacht with the sail still attached. With the skipper of the 'Yxilium' advising, a start was made cutting away the sail and rigging using the Lifeboat cutters and knife.

The Navy supplied some other tools which were successful in cutting the last two stays allowing the mast and sail to fall away from the yacht. At 5.45 p.m. the Navy personnel returned to their ship and, as the yacht was able to motor at 6-7 knots, the Lifeboat escorted them to Sparkes Marina in Chichester Harbour.

The Marina was reached at 7.25 p.m. and the yacht was safely berthed alongside. The Lifeboat departed Sparkes at 7.50 p.m. and was on the moorings at Selsey at 8.50 p.m.

CREW: Martin Rudwick (Coxswain), Paul Taylor (Mechanic), Max Gilligan, Gary Pearce, Dan Langford, and Max Wiseman.