Yachting & Boating World: Two young men were rescued off the coast of Chichester after their GP14 capsized in a sudden shift of wind direction, which broke the dinghy’s boom.
Two men were rescued off the coast of Chichester after making a mayday call via VHF. The pair had been sailing in the area when they decided to venture out of the harbour, not realising that the strong south westerly wind over a rapidly ebbing tide had produced a lumpy sea off the harbour mouth.
As they sailed into this area the wind suddenly veered to north westerly and gusts increased under a weather front, which produced heavy rain. The GP14 came off a wave and the wind caught it, breaking the boom. With the mainsail billowing, the boat capsized. The crew attempted to right the boat but with the sail full of water, they snapped the centerboard.
After calling for help via a waterproof VHF radio, Hayling Island RNLI attended the scene within seven minutes, finding the boat being pounded by waves.
One of the crew said he felt unwell after swallowing sea water so was taken aboard the lifeboat and taken ashore. A volunteer crewmember stayed at the scene in a Hayling Island Sailing Club (HISC) rib, righting the dinghy with the second casualty aboard. The man was now very cold and suffering from hypothermia and was quickly taken ashore by the HISC rib where ambulance personnel met him.
Following the incident, the lifeboat organised a tow for the batter dinghy with an RNLI crewman onboard. The RNLI’s Colin Parke said: “It was pretty rough so that when a wave overtook me I lost sight of the lifeboat until I rode the next wave!”
Both men recovered quickly in the lifeboat station and were declared fit and well by ambulance crew.