SAILORS are being urged to look out for floating debris after the crew of a motorboat had to be rescued when a line fouled its propeller off Hurst Spit.
Lymington RNLI was sent by HM Coastguard after a call-out reporting the vessel was in difficulty last Thursday morning.
Launching around 11.45am, the lifeboat volunteer crew headed towards Hurst Spit in force-three winds with reduced visibility.
The 36ft motorboat was found seven minutes later, grounded about five metres from the shore south-west of Hurst Castle. A line had become entwined in the vessel’s propeller, disabling it.
The crew boarded to secure a bridle and towline, and also recovered as much of the line from the water as possible.
The motorboat was towed into deeper water and then back to Lymington Yacht Haven.
A spokesperson for Lymington RNLI said the operation was completed and the lifeboat ready for service again by 1.45pm.
The spokesperson added: “Dave Hall, the helm, wanted to remind people about how floating debris can be a major hazard to boating, and the importance of maintaining a good lookout not just for other vessels.”
This rescue came the day before HM Coastguard responded to the most incidents in one day for more than four years.
In total there were 329 incidents across the UK last Friday, with 232 call-outs for coastguard rescue teams, 129 for both RNLI and independent lifeboat crews, 22 for aircrafts and three for hovercrafts.
The south coast accounted for the heaviest rate of call-outs, along with the east and north-west coasts.
There was a high number of incidents involving people cut off by the tide and reports of missing children, as well as swimmers and paddleboarders getting into difficulty.
Julie-Anne Wood, duty operations director for HM Coastguard, said: “As the figures show, we’ll always respond when someone calls 999 and asks for the coastguard, we’ll always answer distress on VHF and we’ll always do everything we can to rescue those in need.
“All we ask in return is that you take extra care at the coast – it can be unmerciful to the unwary and even to those who know it well.”