Journo to the rescue

A photojournalist out on a shoot for Yachting Monthly was involved in a dramatic rescue in the Solent yesterday.

Photographer Bob Aylott was working aboard Brief, a Bavaria 36, just off Cowes when he heard screams. ‘I looked eastward and saw a yacht moving forwards with a man – who appeared to be the skipper – being towed through the water astern. A woman in the cockpit was screaming : ‘Help me, help me’,” Bob said.

Bob immediately alerted his skipper, judge Anthony Callaway of Brief,who ordered his sails be dropped and used the VHF to call Solent Coastguard. He then motored to the boat in distress, a Spring 25, called Tallulah Spring, and circled her as she towed the struggling man upwind.

Tallulah Spring’s genoa was flogging, but the mainsail was still sheeted in and she was making two to three knots through the water while the skipper struggled to hang on as the female crew threw over a mast-climbing ladder at the same time trying to get the boat to luff up.

Fortunately the MOB managed to clamber back aboard thanks to the yacht’s sugar scoop stern. He immediately furled the sails and when the Hamble Lifeboat arrived they were towed into Cowes.

‘It was very scary,’ said Bob,’we all thought he was going to slip away, there was no-one else out there initially but thank goodness no one appears to have been injured.’