Praise for woman who helped save anglers

By a County Press reporter

Monday, December 9, 2013


Praise for woman who helped save anglers

Rescuers return to Cowes with the fishing boat. Picture courtesy of Cowes RNLI.

COASTGUARDS have praised an Isle of Wight woman for her part in saving the lives of two anglers at the weekend.

As reported, the two men were rescued on Saturday, after their 12ft boat capsized near West Bramble Buoy.

The alarm was raised by Julie Newnham, who was walking her dog near Gurnard Luck when she heard faint shouting, a Cowes RNLI spokesman said.

"She could then just make out, in the distance, two figures in the water, moving quite rapidly in the east-going tide," said the spokesman.

Mrs Newnham called Solent Coastguard and a Cowes Harbour launch and Cowes RNLI lifeboat were sent to the aid of the two men.

The capsized boat was reached by Cowes Harbour launch first, which found one man clinging to the hull and another holding a trailing rope.

Dave Lewis, of Cowes Harbour Commission, said: "The men had been in the water for over half an hour and were starting to suffer from the cold quite badly when we arrived.

"One was diabetic and neither was wearing lifejackets. I was very relieved the lifeboat joined us on the scene so quickly."

The two men were brought ashore, where they were met by Needles Coastguard Rescue team and a paramedic, and taken to St Mary’s Hospital, where they were said to be making an encouraging recovery.

Mrs Newnham, of Gurnard Esplanade, said: "It was a very quiet day, with not much wind about and it probably helped that I was very close to sea level."

She added: "I am not the person who deserves praise for saving these men, but those who found them and brought them to safety.

"What concerns me is that there must have been others on the Solent shores who heard or saw something, including perhaps those on a passing coaster, but they apparently did nothing. People should never hesitate if they believed someone is in trouble on the water."

A Coastguard spokesman said although they received another report from someone on Lepe Beach, it was Mrs Newnham who first alerted them.

"She did absolutely the right thing calling us, and she must have excellent hearing to have heard the men shout from so far away. Quite amazing," said the spokesman.

Cowes RNLI operations manager Mark Southwell added: "Julie really played her part in saving two lives that day."

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