Emergency call from sailing boat after fire beaks out off the coast of Selsey

The view from the bow of The Bluebell being towed by Selsey Lifeboats
The view from the bow of The Bluebell being towed by Selsey Lifeboats

There was drama at sea this week when an electrical fire broke out on a sailing boat off the coast of Selsey.

The two adults on board the Bluebell attempted to contact the emergency services using a VHF radio on board, however this was rendered useless due to the small fire.

The duo had planned to sail to Portsmouth from Brighton before their boat caught fire 1.5 miles South West of Selsey Bill on Tuesday, May 26.

At 1.07pm the skipper managed to make contact using his pager. Despite successfully tackling the blaze using a fire blanket and sea water, he sustained a burn to his hand.

A crew from Selsey Lifeboats arrived on the scene at 1.20pm, shortly after the alarm was raised.

A first aider from the lifeboat attended to the skipper’s burns but luckily no evacuation was needed.

Helmsman John Reeves of the Selsey Royal National Lifeboat Institution decided to tow the 26ft Bluebell towards Chichester harbour due to strong wind and tides.

The Chichester harbour patrol boat completed the last leg of the journey, towing the bluebell the last two miles of the way to safety.