A COASTGUARD team from Bembridge and Cowes Lifeboat went to the aid of a stricken motor-cruiser that was taking on water after an engine fire yesterday afternoon (Monday).
Following a call from the Coastguard, the lifeboat crew headed to the 32-foot Sunseeker Katraia at 4.40pm, where they found the boat aground between Castle Point and Osborne Bay.
The Wootton Creek-based motor cruiser was carrying a couple, a young man and a dog.
A Coastguard spokesman said the quick-thinking skipper had beached the boat after being unable to stem the flow of water from a burst exhaust hose.
Coastguards from Bembridge realised the boat would need repairing before it could be refloated on the rising tide and an improvised repair was made with a tin of tuna, a tea towel and jubilee clips - circular metal strips designed to hold hoses.
Coastguard station officer Martin Groom said: "It is important to use a little bit of lateral thinking in these situations.
"It is impossible to carry spares for any eventuality but it is surprising what will do with a little bit of thought."
Cowes lifeboat returned to the station upon the arrival of the Bembridge mobile coastguard, but was relaunched at 10.40pm to be on hand when the temporarily plugged yacht was refloated and towed to a Royal Victoria Yacht Club pontoon just inside Wootton Creek at around midnight.
Martin added: "Situations like this highlight the need for regular maintenance and also the usefulness of even a basic tool kit on board any boat."