Historic Ryde Society

‘Giving Ryde’s Past to the Future’

Historic Ryde Society Quiz Night Thursday 30 November 2023 at Yelf's Hotel, at 7p.m. for 7.30pm.

The Hans Busk Lifeboat

The Hans Busk in action

Isle of Wight Observer September 18 1869

It would be impossible to eulogise too highly the invaluable services rendered by our lifeboat during the recent gale. Not only did she successfully fulfil the noble duty which such vessels are specially designed to accomplish, but for less legitimate purposes, – though not less perilous, her aid was in constant requisition. The brave fellows who manned her went out again and again and again when the tempest was at its fiercest, and the display of zeal and cool intrepidity evinced by them clearly indicated their unwavering confidence in the power and capabilities of the Hans Busk. When it appeared beyond the pale of possibility that any craft of such comparatively limited dimensions could live upon the troubled waters, she gallantly rode over them, satisfactorily achieved whatever object she had to effect, and returned on each occasion scathless. Those who at one time considered a lifeboat stationed at Ryde as unnecessary (and we were never of that number) will now scarcely fail to admit its necessity, and practically evince their appreciation of the services she has recently rendered by liberally subscribing towards her maintenance.
The Hans Busk was constructed by Mr JOHN WHITE, of the Medina docks, Cowes, whose fame in his profession is universal, and which will doubtless be still further enhanced by the skill and perseverance that has enabled him to produce a perfect lifeboat, and which cannot but be regarded as a triumph of human ingenuity over the elements when in their most angry and destructive moods. We are happy to hear that Mrs Brigstocke has, through Mr Hands, presented £5 towards the year’s expenses of the boat, and that several gentlemen, members of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, have entertained their names as annual subscribers of half-a-guinea each.

THE CAPTAIN HANS BUSK LIFEBOAT – At a special meeting of the committee held at the Town-hall on Thursday morning, present – Capt Katon, RN, (in the chair), A F Leeds, esq., B Barrow, esq., Capt Lowe, RN, Capt Mackinnon, Mr Alderman Thurlow, Messrs Wm Dashwood, Hands, E Marvin, jun, Wearn, and Sothcott, the following report was read from the coxswain: “On Sunday, the 12th inst, between 6 and 7 o’clock, then blowing a hard gale from the WNW, the Volante yacht was observed to be drifting fast on to the Ryde sands with signal of distress flying. I got the lifeboat manned as quickly as possible with the following men: H Sothcott, (coxswain), T Heward, (2nd coxswain), W Heward, J Gawn, H Cotton, E Burnett, T Gawn, and S Sothcott. By this time, the yacht was ashore on her beam ends, and the sea making a clean sweep over her. With much difficulty, at 7.30am, they got Mr and Mrs Mandslay out of her and brought them ashore. Then went alongside the Enid yacht, and took two gentlemen and one boy, as they were afraid she would strike at low water. Afterwards, at 8am, brought Mr and Mrs Wellesley and child from the Ondine yacht, in answer to the signal made. Then landed four of the crew of the Volante, with their baggage, on the sand, and afterwards the master, mate, and one man, with other baggage, on the pier. Then went off and took a man and a boy from a swamped fishing boat (which afterwards sunk), and on our way back took the master of the Werret on board, and the master and one man belonging to the Mischief. Took several watermen off to their boats, and towed boats ashore that had filled. Monday, 1pm, took Mr Richardson and sons out of the Zelia, schooner, by signal; also took the master and crew with an anchor to a yawl, which slipped and run for Bembridge. Then put the master and crew on board the Otter yacht; they had come ashore for provisions and could not get off again. Also put the crews of seven vessels on board, which enabled the vessels to run for harbour. The crew were altogether over nine hours afloat, and they have every confidence in the safe qualities of the lifeboat.” The committee expressed their satisfaction at the services rendered by the lifeboat’s crew in these her maiden errands in the cause of humanity, and for the prompt way in which she went off to the Volante (only 35 minutes having elapsed from the time the danger was seen until she was alongside), and awarded a gratuity of £2 10s to the coxswain, and £1 10s to each of the crew.