Boatbreakers team salvage beached boat

The Boatbreakers team had shut up shop for the day last Friday when we received a call for help. A small tender had broken free from the yacht which had been towing her. The Yacht was over at the Isle of Wight and the tender had washed up on Lee on Solent beach.

Our team (Steve and Luke) agreed to go down to the beach to at least look at the boat. Usually a job like this would be no problem but the timing wasn’t ideal. We had no trailers available and with Steve still in a protective boot for his achilles injury there was added complexity.


The boat was a small Rib that before it hit the beach was brand new. During the course of the day it had been stripped by people looking to grab themselves a freebie. Pictures of the boat had circulated on Facebook which then meant the boat was like a lamb to the slaughter.

Whilst we were at the beach we got talking to a local photographer who had seen the day’s events unfold. He showed us some pictures of how the boat had looked earlier in the day. In the pictures he had shown us the boat still had the engine, seats and steering wheel. The photographer thought that the people taking the items from the boat were the owners. In fact these people were taking their chances on getting some free boat bits.

All but conceded defeat

We relayed the situation to the owners and reiterated that it would be difficult for us to arrange the salvage at that time. The team left the beach and had all but conceded defeat. Our main concerns were getting a truck to her as it might sink into the stones. Plus with Steve having an injury we were half a man down.

However once I  (Luke) got home he had an idea. My Dad is a builder and has a large tipper truck. The idea was to get this tipper truck as close as possible to the boat. Then get a couple of people to help lift and man-handle the boat onto the back of the tipper.

After a few calls some friends volunteered to help and my Dad met us at the beach. The only risk was that the truck might sink into a patch of stones before the patch of hard ground we were trying to reach. Frustratingly this did happen and the rear wheels of the truck began to sink into the stones just meters from the concrete carpark.

Back up plan

We quickly reverted to the back up plan which was to bring Steve’s 4×4 Ford Ranger down to tow out the truck. To say Dad wasn’t best pleased is an understatement. But we soon had him out and back on hard ground.

Whilst Steve and Dad sorted the trucks out, Matt and I worked on getting as much water out of the boat as possible. We lifted and propped up the boat so the sea water that was inside her aluminium hull could drain out. Every drop of water that we removed from the boat helped to make it lighter for the lift.

Steve and Dad then managed to get both trucks onto the path near the boat through a different route. With the 4×4 close we rigged up a tow line and slowly dragged the boat up the beach. Once it was close to the truck we flipped the boat up and on to the tipper. It was a great relief for us to be able to get the boat away so smoothly and I’m sure for the owners too.

Stern words from the Police

The Police had caught up with the people who had removed the engine and other items. After some stern words they had surrendered the parts back to the owners.

Our emergency team of Steve, Dad, Matt and Luke did a great job in the circumstance to safely remove the boat. Luckily the tide had stayed out for the duration otherwise the boat salvage might have had some time pressure! The boat was taken back to our secure compound in Gosport to await collection by the owners.

After the weekend the owners sent a guy down with a trailer to take the boat off to be fixed. We imagine she will be completely re-tubed but as she is an aluminium hull she should be salvageable.

Emergency Boat Salvage Service

The Boatbreakers team are always happy to help in problem situations. If we can get a boat sorted one way or another we will do. Just give us a call on 023 9298 4666 or contact us through our social media channels.