The record entry list for Skandia Life Cowes Week and the mischievous weather that flattened much of it have combined to keep the Coastguard very busy

Solent Coastguard assisted 400 people in over 85 separate search and rescue incidents over Skandia Life Cowes Week – many of them due to the phenomenally busy and well supported regatta.

“RNLI and Independent Lifeboats have been launched on 70 occasions,” sad Peter Brown, Solent Coastguard watch manager. “The Coastguard rescue helicopter has been scrambled ten times and Coastguard rescue teams have been tasked to assist 30 times, all within the last week.

“Cowes Regatta Week itself involved over 1,000 race entrants with many more spectators. The good weather combined with great sailing winds of up to Force 7 and spring tides resulted in some race entrants and observers running into trouble and requiring our assistance.

“Just some of the many incidents which we co-ordinated included:

  • 4 yachts which sank
  • Regular capsizes
  • Numerous dismastings
  • Searches for people in the water
  • Electrical fires
  • Groundings
  • Fouled propellers
  • Mechanical breakdowns

“The fact that all of these incidents were so successfully resolved, without loss of life, is mainly due to good race and safety co-ordination by the Cowes Week organisers and an excellent response from all the rescue teams in the area.”