LIFEBOAT crews on the Isle of Wight were kept busy in 2013, according to figures released by the RNLI.
Collectively, crews from the RNLI stations at Bembridge, Cowes and Yarmouth launched on 112 rescue missions last year, to incidents including commercial vessels in trouble, distressed fishermen, swimmers and leisure marine users.
The busiest of the three was Cowes with 43 launches. In a year of extreme weather, crews from these stations rescued a total of 139 people.
The figures, however, were down significantly on 2012, when crews launched 147 times and rescued 241 people.
Among the notable rescues in 2013 were:
•Bembridge lifeboat crew rescued a man who had suffered a stroke and was stranded on an old military fort in the Solent. The coxswain had to be creative and used a rather unorthodox method of using ropes, a hook and a plastic stretcher.
•Two men whose fishing vessel capsized and sank in the Solent in a matter of seconds were rescued by Yarmouth RNLI. One was still in his sleeping bag when the disaster happened — both were found in a liferaft some hours later.
•Volunteers at Cowes were involved in a search for an inebriated man who had plunged into the River Medina in the middle of the night. He attempted to swim the river having missed the last chain ferry for the night.
The Isle of Wight is also served by independent lifeboats at Sandown and Shanklin, Ryde and Freshwater.
| Lifeboat station || Total launches || Total rescued || Lives saved |
| Bembridge || 32 || 38 || 0 |
| Cowes || 43 || 47 || 0 |
| Yarmouth || 37 || 54 || 1 |