Port St Mary Lifeboat Station - ILB Callouts 17th June 2001
Weather fine;visibility good; Wind N2,
At 13:50 BST several members of the public and one lifeboat crew member spotted two red hand held flares being burnt by an orange rigid inflatable boat (RIB) approximately 300 yards south of Port St Mary Breakwater. In the time taken to alert the lifeboat crew, muster and the launch the ILB to go to the aid of the craft, two other craft (another RIB and a small motor boat) had also proceeded and were giving help when the ILB arrived at 14:10 BST.
It transpired that the RIB in distress had been approaching Port St Mary at speed when the steering linkage to the boats' outboard engine had parted causing the craft to turn very sharply and the helmsman of the RIB was thrown out of the boat. He was thrown well clear and to windward. Fortunately he was attached to a 'deadman' cord which immediately stopped the outboard engine. He was wearing a lifejacket and foul weather clothing. However, even with a light wind he couldn't swim fast enough to get back to the RIB. Fortunately the man's daughter was on board and with quick thinking set of the red hand flares to summon help.
The first craft to the scene was a passing RIB which was directed in the water, who was then over 100 yards from his boat. It recovered him and returned him to his craft just as the ILB arrived on scene. He was cold after spending in the region of 20 minutes in the water but was otherwise uninjured. The helmsman restarted his boats engine and steered his craft into Port St Mary harbour by hand with the ILB proceeding in escort.
This service ended happily has a result of calm thinking of the man's daughter and the quick response of other craft.
The ILB was back on station at 14:50 BST.