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Devastating fire destroys vessel off Bembridge

Bembridge All-Weather Lifeboat the RNLB Peter and Lesley-Jane Nicholson responded to a motor boat on fire off the eastern shore of the Isle of Wight on Sunday 19th June. The Tamar class lifeboat was launched at 3.40pm at the request of UK (Solent) Coastguard to assist the 38ft vessel Fast Flow on fire with two people onboard. First on scene was Gosport & Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS). The Independent lifeboat crew were able to take the two crew off safely and establish a tow. Once on scene, RNLB Peter and Lesley-Jane Nicholson took over the tow and anchored the burning vessel.

The two crew were then transferred to her and taken to Hayling Island (from where they had set off earlier in the day) and dropped off. The Queen’s Harbour Master Portsmouth dispatched the firefighting tug SD Independent to attempt to put out the fire. Unfortunately by the time it arrived, the vessel had burned almost to the waterline and was beyond saving. It has subsequently been reported that the vessel has sunk. RNLB Peter and Lesley-Jane Nicholson returned to Bembridge as was recovered by 7.15pm.

Report and photos from Portsmouth Echo, RNLI and GAFIRS

Don’t get dehydrated when you’re fishing!

Dehydration happens when your body loses more fluids than you take in and results in your body lacking the water and fluids to carry out its normal functions. If dehydration isn’t treated, it can get worse and become a serious problem.

Babies, children and elderly people are more at risk of dehydration and some medical conditions and medications can also increase the risk. Most of us will have experienced mild symptoms of dehydration occasionally, you know, those times when you’re too busy to eat and drink, when you might purposely reduce fluid intake because you can’t get to or use a toilet easily, or when we’ve been ill.

The main symptoms of dehydration are:

  • Feeling thirsty.
  • Dark yellow and strong-smelling pee.
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
  • Feeling tired.
  • A dry mouth, lips and eyes.
  • Peeing little, and fewer than 4 times a day.
  • But if the symptoms develop to include any of the following, you or your patient need to seek urgent medical attention:
  • Feeling unusually tired.
  • Confused and disorientated.
  • Any dizziness on standing that does not go away.
  • Haven’t peed all day.
  • Weak or rapid pulse.
  • Fits (seizures).

As we mentioned earlier, the risk of dehydration can increase with certain medications and medical conditions.

  • Diabetes
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea.
  • Being in the sun for too long (heatstroke).
  • If you’ve been drinking alcohol.
  • Sweating too much after exercise.
  • If you have a temperature of 38C or more.
  • If you take medicines that make you pee more (diuretics).

So what do you need to do if you think you have dehydration? 

Well firstly, our advice is to avoid it in the first place. Prevention is definitely better than cure. Which can be easier said than done!  But, if you’re exercising, working in a hot location or environment, you’re ill or you’ve been drinking alcohol, you need to up that fluid intake in anticipation. The NHS ‘Eatwell Guide’ ( suggests that we need to drink 6-8 cups of fluid per day. Water, low fat milk, and sugar free drinks (including tea and coffee) all count towards the total. But be wary of energy drinks, fruit juices and smoothies and fizzy drinks as they can be high in sugar and caffeine.

Water is the healthiest (and cheapest!) choice as a thirst quencher, it’s calorie free and there are no sugars to damage your teeth. Obviously you’ll need to check if tap water is drinkable locally and bottled water may be the better option in many locations. If you don’t like plain water, try sparkling or flavoured water, tea, fruit tea or coffee, or just add a slice of lemon or lime to hot or cold water. Adding a drop of sugar free squash or fruit juice also works.

If you think you are showing signs of dehydration:

  • Drink plenty of fluid or increase your normal intake.
  • If you’re dehydrated due to vomiting or feeling sick, take small sips and gradually increase. Even if you vomit again, some fluid will be retained.
  • Drink enough to turn pee back to a pale, clear colour.
  • Consider using rehydration sachets such as Dioralyte.
  • If the dehydration is due to vomiting or diarrhoea, consult with your shoreside medical team as alongside rehydration salts, you should carry antiemetic (anti sickness) drugs as well as anti diarrhoea medication.

Dehydration can affect anyone onboard, so keep an eye out for other members of your crew and check you’re all taking on enough fluid regularly and remember that prevention is better than cure. If you’d like any further information about managing dehydration onboard, please get in touch.

If you would like a copy of our Hydration chart then click the button below for your free download.

By Rachel Smith, Paramedic
Article kindly provided by Red Square Medical

Storm Eunice

I’m sure Storm Eunice isn’t news to anyone by now, but it might be interesting to share some boat-related stories local to Portsmouth.  Eunice, the most severe storm was actually sandwiched between two other storms, Dudley and Frankin, so we had three successive storms battering the UK in mid February.  Eunice hit us on Friday 18th and despite plenty of warnings and preparation, there was still plenty of damage.

The storm itself is well documented in this article. As you can see from this map, the Red warnings go right across the south of England which is unusual – most of the severe storms in the past have have more impact on the north of the country.

The storm created and coincided with a tidal surge and the strong winds and this high tide proved too much for the floating crane in Pounds Marine ship breaker’s yard. It broke loose and floated itself over to the M275 where it came to rest, uncomfortably close the the motorway. There it stayed until there was another very high tide a couple of weeks later, allowing it to be recovered.

The weather station at the Needles Battery recorded a record gust strength of 122mph at the peak of the storm. Winds of this strength proved too much for some of the the Camber Dock dry stack occupants.

Our neighbours in the ECA have the disadvantage that their boat storage yard is very exposed to southern winds, and one of the yachts took a tumble taking several others down with it (feature photo above).  The high tide pushed boats in Southsea Marina above the normal protection of the basin but fortunately, and a lot to do with the diligence of the Premier Marina crew, very little damage was recorded.  The new SMAC weighing shed didn’t move an inch either, and I’m sure the members that built it (and there seemed to be a lot of people involved) will be reminding us of this fact for years to come.

According to the notice below, there was another casualty of the storms although I’m not sure exactly when this vessel actually sank. Langstone Harbour took a battering for several days, and even the Hayling Island bridge was closed to traffic for a while as water washed over it. Sadly, an 11 metre catamaran sank at its mooring near the Mulberry wreck. From memory it didn’t have a mast which probably explains why there is still four metres of water above it. It will probably be recovered to ensure it doesn’t move to a more dangerous location.

New SMAC Open Bream Competition Announced

Here’s something to look forward to: Southsea Marina Angling Club have had such a successful run of Open Cod Competitions over the last few winters that we decided that we couldn’t wait until next season for another Open Competition so we are announcing our first Open Bream Competition for this summer. It will be held on Sunday 1st May 2022 from Southsea Marina. Sign in at the Marina Office, entry fee £10 per angler. Fishing from 8am to 6pm, weigh-in must be complete by 6:30pm and this will be followed by presentations in the Marina Bar at 7pm.

There will be generous cash prizes and a prize table to be confirmed. There will also be a Ladies prize and a Junior prize.

Put the date in your diary!


Farewell Moonshine

January 2022 marks the end of a significant era: the charter boat Moonshine will no longer be seen around the eastern Solent skippered by Pete Churchill. Pete and Moonshine have been together for 31 years and together they built a tremendous reputation in the charter fishing community.

Even if they don’t know Pete Churchill, many boat anglers will be familiar with the blue and white 10metre Starfish charter boat which would often be seen on the usual marks, fully booked with parties of very happy anglers. Moonshine was based in Southsea Marina and Pete Churchill has been active member of the Southsea Marina Angling Club.

Sadly, all good things come to an end and when Pete decided to finally retire from chartering, it was also time for Moonshine to go to a new home.

In early January, Moonshine was loaded onto a transporter for the journey to her new owner in Grimsby. This was rather fitting because the SMDAC boat Lady Elsa, often berthed alongside Moonshine came to Southsea from Grimsby. Maybe they compared notes.

It is sad to see Moonshine go and it must be a real wrench for Pete, but we will still see him around Southsea Marina. He has bought Seabiscuit with SMAC member Bill Arnold. We look forward to following their joint fishing adventures and I’m sure they will carry on competing with each other for the SMAC competition prizes as they have done so successfully before.

Here’s one of many testimonials from happy Moonshine customers:

“Moonshine is a 29ft starfish skippered by Pete Churchill, in my view one of the better skippers around. Pete and Moonshine are responsible for plenty of big fish including two 80+ Tope one a British record breaking 84lb, Blonde rays over 38lb, many Smoothhounds over 20lb, lots of 20+ Cod, massive Plaice, lots of tea, and the list goes on. He even caught a juvenile Thresher shark on Mackerel feathers!” – FishyNige

Don’t waste your roe!

After years of gutting whiting and throwing the guts over the side,  my friend Jim Atkins pointed out that these were missed opportunities. At this time of year, the guts contain some very edible roes whch in the larger female whiting are plenty big enough to collect and save for a delicious meal. Roes are the unspawned eggs and look like a pair of orange sausages, so they are easy to spot. Carefully separate the roes from the guts, wash and set aside for your meal. There are plenty of on-line recipes for cod roe, but not surprisingly, whiting roe don’t feature. Don’t worry! Here’s what you can do. Simply roll the roes in seasoned flour and fry in butter for a maximum of two minutes each side. Serve on toast with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of chopped dill or parsley. Don’t waste the melted butter, pour that on your toast too. This makes a classic lunch, brunch or high tea dish. For more exotic treatment (Jim applies Cajun seasoning), just experiment!

2022 Sea Angling Classic Competition

Following the successful “trial run” of the Sea Angling Classic competition in 2021, the event goes into full swing for 2022. Here’s the low-down on what the event is and what will be  happening in and around Portsmouth.

About Sea Angling Classic

This is a unique international boat  fishing event combining a major sea angling competition, conservation and environmental initiatives, education and research, while introducing a whole new generation to the sport.

This exciting and dynamic boat event event will take place from Wednesday 15th June to Sunday 19th June 2022, based out of the historic maritime city of Portsmouth. Gunwharf Quays will be the hub and centre of the event and the competition area will be utilising the diverse and prolific fishing grounds of The Solent.

There will be two categories run simultaneously: one for Recreational boats and the other for Charter boats involving 600 to 800 competitors.

A Huge Prize Table!

We expect up to 150 boats to be competing for the the largest prize table in UK boat angling history – a combined value of  £200,000. This is attracting a huge amount of attention from  hundreds of boat  anglers, while also welcoming youngsters, environmental research, countless businesses and high-profile event partners.  The huge prize table includes a fully equipped Extreme Game King 745 boat and trailer.

The Sea Angling Classic has been structured to stimulate and grow recreational boat angling initially in the UK. Using the model created it will expand throughout Europe and then globally. It is much more than just a fishing event. It has a very strong element at its core to help and encourage children as the next generation in all areas of sustainability, respect for the environment and their own personal development.

The competition is organised by Angling Spirit  who are an experienced professional  international events management and marking company. They specialise in boat based angling events and recognise the importance of making sure events are run safely and comply with all rules and regulations. Most importantly, they are also there to enforce them.

Backing , Support and Unique location

The event has full support, involvement , endorsement and backing from  Portsmouth City Council , The Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, The Historic Dockyard, Gunwharf Quays, The Angling Trust and leading global brands in the marine /angling industry including Mercury, Lowrance, Penn International, Rapala and others.

Portsmouth Harbour – this will be an extremely important event for the positive promotion of recreational boat angling and for this reason The Queens Harbour Master will be closing Portsmouth harbour for the event.

Gunwharf Quays – the area will be fully branded for a two-week period which will include having key event partners’ displays on site.

Historic Dockyard – the prize giving of the event will take place in the historic dockyard. There there will be a huge stage built with  live radio and live stream broadcasting everything, with the world famous backdrop of Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory. The final event celebration will take place on the deck of HMS Warrior for up to 525 guests.

Promotion and Marketing

The event will have  extensive media coverage including an hour-long TV highlights program that will be broadcast on BT Sports and on Amazon Prime.  Angling Spirit will be directing the TV  program and media activity to ensure they have full control of media coverage and can meet their commitments.

A full promotional roadshow with event partners around the UK will take place in March 2022 so that all key partners’ customers can benefit and get involved.

The use of Gunwharf Quays for two weeks including the period prior to and during the event at prime time of the year will expose the event to thousands of people.

The event will be promoted through Boot Dusseldorf attendance.

There will be a spectacular televised flag parade involving up to 1,000 people including children from the local schools and three marching bands.

Sustainability, respect for the environment and a profound scientific study are at the core of the event.

The Competition

Setting out from the competition  base at the Historic Dockyard, competitors will be targeting a variety of species in The Solent, including tope, smoothound, rays, bass and black bream on a catch, photograph and release basis. To keep track of angler’s catches, event organiser Angling Spirit’s custom-made Live Leaderboard App will provide real time, state-of-the art updates on who’s catching what.


Head over to the Questions page for a full list of frequently asked questions and the answers.

Website links

Outline Itinerary

Sea Angling Classic on Facebook

Children’s and environmental initiatives The Spirit of Angling

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

Gunwharf Quays

QHM Portsmouth

New Beacon Registration Portal

This week I had an email from MCA advising that they have migrated the old database of registered beacons (EPIRBs) to a new portal. They advise updating the information on the new portal so they have the correct and current information about the beacon, you, your boat and usual area of use.  When you go to the new portal there is quite a lot of information that they will collect so it’s worth setting aside 15 minutes or so to do it. You will need your beacon and vessel information to hand when you do it.

“It is important that you do this, to assist the emergency services should they receive a ‘distress alert’ from your beacon(s). If you do not claim your beacon(s), the data will eventually be deleted.”

If you have a beacon and haven’t received this notification, check your email Junk Folder or visit the new Beacon Registry Service at If you have changed your email since registering your beacon, you may not get the notification. You can update it using the portal.

“If you need advice or support on how to update your details, please contact the Beacon Registry Team, Telephone: +44 020 3817 2006 or email

Bass: Catch & Release after 1st December

A quick reminder that ALL bass must be returned to the water unharmed after 1st December 2021 until the end pf the year. If this year’s bass rules roll over to 2022, then we can expected to be able to retain some bass after 28th February 2022 but that remains to be confirmed. This rule applies to both boat and shore fishing.

Fawley Chimney Landmark – Gone!

Today, the iconic landmark of the old power station chimney at Fawley, visible from east and west Solent, was demolished. Bang. Just like that. It was demolished along with the other power station buildings to make way for a waterside development including 1,500 homes. These days with GPS and many other landmarks nearby means that its demise won’t be a particular problem for navigation but it is the end of an era during which the chimney was a prominent feature for anyone steering a course along the Solent. Well done to the hardy souls who braved the winds today, and our thanks to Parker Adams Boat Sales of Hamble who posted this video on Youtube.


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