A near tragic RIB accident on Southampton Water occurred last night in the euphoric aftermath of the Skandia Cowes Week fireworks display.
At 22h14, while thousands partied in Cowes, a 7.3 meter RIB was involved in a high speed collision with the unlit After Barn mooring buoy off Westfield common. Colin Olden from Hamble Lifeboat, who were first to the scene, told YW: “A fisherman on Westfield beach called the coastguard and reported a boat heading up Southampton Water at high speed, a big bang, and then no boat.”
When Hamble Lifeboat arrived on the scene they found a young man and woman clinging to the buoy. The young man was missing all his front teeth. Five more people were in the wrecked RIB floating nearby. Half of the bows were gone, the seats had collapsed forwards and the entire steering console had been ripped off. “This was quite a serious accident,” a Coastguard spokeswoman said. “The driver of the RIB was trapped between his seat and the console by the impact.”
The RIB was apparently returning from Cowes after the fireworks display with seven persons aboard, all from the Hamble area and estimated to be in their twenties. The boat had been traveling in company with a second RIB.
The Calshot lifeboat took two casualties to the Harbourmaster’s jetty at Warsash. An ambulance was waiting to take them to Southampton General hospital where they were admitted with facial and spinal injuries. Their condition is not known.
The Coastguard responded to 43 incidents last night.