A MAIDEN voyage turned into a nightmare after an elderly couple’s boat sprang a leak.
The couple’s 31ft yacht Crescendo was in danger of sinking as it sailed from Bembridge, on the Isle of Wight, to Itchenor in Chichester Harbour.
A Mayday call was made and lifeboats from Hayling and Portsmouth RNLI were called out at about 3pm on Wednesday.
An RNLI crew member was put onboard and found the skipper helming while the lady crew was attempting to cope with the incoming water, which by this time was knee deep in the cabin.
Pumps were used to remove excess water.
With the Hayling crew on board the yacht, Portsmouth RNLI towed her to Sparkes Marina on Hayling.
Jonathan Bradbury, Hayling lifeboat operations manager, said: ‘The skipper and crew were shaken by their experience and most grateful for the support and assistance provided by the RNLI, who prevented a maiden voyage becoming the final voyage for this yacht and a more serious outcome.’