Selsey yacht explosion: RNLI release full statement and pictures

Honeymoon Fire, June 4. One of the men is winched to safety.
Honeymoon Fire, June 4. One of the men is winched to safety.

Selsey RNLI have released a full statement following and explosion on a yacht which saw two men airlifted to hospital.

The statement comes after the explosion yesterday afternoon on a yacht seven miles off the coast of Selsey.

Honeymoon Fire, June 4. Smoke billows from the yacht on the horizon.

Honeymoon Fire, June 4. Smoke billows from the yacht on the horizon.

A spokesman for Selsey RNLI said: "Whilst at the station the Mechanic overheard a radio call from the Yacht Ruby Tuesday reporting an explosion and fire on the 44ft motorboat Honeymoon.

"He and the coxswain could clearly see the smoke after looking out of the crew room window so informed the UK Coastguard while at the same time setting off the crew pagers from the boathouse at 1.06pm on Tuesday 4 June.

READ MORE: Helicopter rescues pair after yacht catches fire miles off Selsey coast

"The Selsey Shannon class lifeboat launched at 1.16pm and proceeded at best speed to the position of the plume of smoke 7 miles south east of Selsey which was clearly visible. The Coastguard Helicopter Rescue 175 had also been scrambled to the incident. The weather on scene was wind force 4 sea state moderate in rain showers.

Honeymoon Fire, June 4. A crew member from the helicopter prepares to winch one of the men.

Honeymoon Fire, June 4. A crew member from the helicopter prepares to winch one of the men.

"Ruby Tuesday had heard the explosion and saw the plume of smoke before hearing the Mayday call. The two men aboard the Honeymoon had called a Mayday distress using the handheld radio they had managed to grab before jumping overboard.

"They then managed to get into the tender and release it from the Honeymoon. They reported one man had flash burns and a head injury. The lifeboat and helicopter arrived on scene together at 1.30pm and it was decided to lower the helicopter winchman/Paramedic to the lifeboat before closing the small tender to recover the two casualties.

READ MORE: Selsey yacht explosion: Men airlifted to hospital

"At 1.45pm the two men were recovered to the lifeboat and assessed. The head wound was dressed and both men warmed up before they were winched up to the Helicopter for immediate transfer to Hospital.

Honeymoon Fire, June 4. One of the men on the dinghy from the back of the yacht.

Honeymoon Fire, June 4. One of the men on the dinghy from the back of the yacht.

"The helicopter departed the scene at 2.15pm. The lifeboat returned to the position of the burning vessel but there was no sign of it so it’s assumed to have burnt to the water line then sunk. The lifeboat was released by the Coastguards at 3.20pm and arrived back at station at 3.40pm.

"The crew today were Coxswain Rob Archibald, 2nd Coxswain Colin Pullenger, Mechanic Geoff Mellett, Max Gilligan, James Albrey and Pip Skeet."

Honeymoon Fire, June 4. The men are brought aboard.

Honeymoon Fire, June 4. The men are brought aboard.