Sailors in south­ern Eng­land caught out by Storm Katie

Yachting Monthly - - NEWS - you have a news story to share, con­tact News Editor Theo Stocker EMAIL TEL 020 3148 4873

Dozens of yachts were dam­aged by Storm Katie over the Easter week­end. Winds of 73 knots were recorded on Port­land Bill and there were re­ports of gusts of 91 knots on the Isle of Wight. Boats moored on the south coast, the Bris­tol Chan­nel and in Es­sex bore the brunt of the lat­est win­ter storm to hit the UK.

The storm reached its cli­max in the early hours of Easter Mon­day (28 April). Garry Ni­chol­son, weather fore­caster at Weather­, ex­plained:

‘Storm Katie wasn’t an ex­cep­tional storm, but she took quite a southerly track for the time of year. There was a pe­riod of par­tic­u­larly strong gusts in the early hours of Easter Mon­day be­tween Port­land Bill and Portsmouth. Iso­bars were com­pacted and hooked in be­hind the low, con­cen­trat­ing the wind for a short pe­riod.’

At least 20 boats to come loose from their moor­ings, mostly in and around the So­lent. Har­bours af­fected in­cluded Cowes, Beaulieu, Portsmouth, Lang­stone, and Chich­ester, as well as Southend-on-Sea in Es­sex. Two boats laid up ashore were also blown over at Watchet Har­bour in Som­er­set and one yacht, at sea dur­ing the storm, ran aground in Oxwich Bay on the Gower.

Beaulieu har­bour­mas­ter Wendy Stowe de­scribed what hap­pened:

‘It was high tide when the wind struck,’ she said. ‘These were the worst con­di­tions in Beaulieu since 1987. Four boats came off their moor­ings, most from just be­low the ma­rina, when their moor­ing strops chafed through.’

Boats in Portsmouth Har­bour also suf­fered chafed lines. Chrissie Capel, busi­ness devel­op­ment man­ager at Boat­, dis­cov­ered four boats aground near Port So­lent:

‘There were three sail­ing boats and a mo­tor­boat, which was to­tally wrecked, but the yachts were less dam­aged. They still had fore-and-aft moor­ing lines at­tached.’

Yachts moored at Hayling Is­land were also hit. Re­tired army of­fi­cer Bob Ra­ley helped save a Bavaria 34 aground on Thor­ney Is­land.

‘When I found the yacht, her pul­pit, bow roller and stan­chions were bro­ken and the bow cleat was torn away,’ he said. ‘The head­sail had un­furled and shredded, putting con­sid­er­able strain on the mast, so we helped to take it down. There were re­ports that six yachts had come adrift and one had sunk,’ he said.

Some har­bours in the area man­aged to es­cape dam­age. Mal­colm Thorpe, owner of Bem­bridge Har­bour, said: ‘We re­ceived storm warn­ings two or three days be­fore Storm Katie ar­rived. The har­bour staff team were on hand dur­ing the storm, mak­ing sure noth­ing came loose.’

Other parts of the coun­try were also af­fected. In Watchet Har­bour in Som­er­set two yachts on the hard stand­ing were knocked over. One of them had been cov­ered with a tar­pau­lin by the owner, which acted as a sail, blow­ing her over and knock­ing over the yacht next to her.

Tim Tay­lor, owner of Watchet Har­bour, said: ‘This was the worst storm of the win­ter and the only one in which there has been any dam­age. The wind went from 20 knots to over 50 knots in sec­onds, so it was pretty ex­cep­tional, and un­usu­ally the wind was from the west, rather than the south-west.’

At the same time, a yacht made a May­day call af­ter she was caught out in winds of 40 knots off the Gower and hit a sub­merged ob­ject be­fore run­ning aground in Oxwich Bay, and sailors in So­lent re­ported be­ing hit by gusts of 55 knots.

‘This was the worst storm of the win­ter’

A flog­ging head­sail nearly cost this yacht its mast, aground on Thor­ney Is­land

Yachts ran aground in Portch­ester af­ter their moor­ing lines parted

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.