Gafirs help town stricken catamaran to safety
A STRICKEN catamaran had to be towed to shore after having trouble with its engine.
Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (Gafirs) was called to help the vessel, which had got into difficulty in the Solent after sailing from Dartmouth.
The independent lifeboat service, based at Stokes Bay, had to take over from Bembridge Lifeboat to tow the 31ft catamaran.
The coastguard called Gafirs to help after the boat’s engine failed while off the coast of Ventor. With a lack of wind, the boat was stuck in the Solent.
Gafirs worked with the RNLI at No Man’s Land Fort to tow the catamaran, which had only the skipper on board.
It took about an hour for Gafirs to lead the vessel to Gosport Marina on Thursday night at 10pm.
The boat was safely brought alongside with the help of Hillhead Coastguard Rescue Team.
Coxswain Brian Pack said: ‘We placed a crewman on board the casualty vessel and rigged a tow line.
‘The catamaran was tricky to tow, though, as it had a problem with its steerage.’
The rescue was the 79th of the year for Gafirs.
The crew used their new RIB lifeboat, the Joan Dora Fuller.
As previously reported in The News, Gafirs was able to get the boat, a new tractor and trailer worth £500,000 thanks to a bequest.
Gosport businessman Brian Fuller left the money which meant Gafirs could purchase the nine-metre RIB, which can reach speeds of 42 knots, and a 4.8m RIB.
They have been named Joan Dora Fuller and Ian Fuller respectively after Mr Fuller’s wife and only son.
Gafirs is run solely by volunteers who are on call 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
As well as being called to a range of incidents, they also help out at big events in the Solent such as Cowes Week and the America’s Cup World Series which took place off the coast of Southsea in July.
For more information visit gafirs.org.uk.