Calshot’s RNLI lifeboat has rescued part of a World War II flying boat…completely by accident

Calshot’s offshore lifeboat has unwittingly rescued the propeller of a Sunderland flying boat after snagging its mooring chain on it.

The Tyne class offshore lifeboat caught its mooring chain on a mystery object beneath the waves and crewmembers were shocked when they realised it was a triple-bladed propeller, measuring 12ft across, from a Sunderland flying boat.

“I felt something ‘pop’ and I knew that we’d dislodged something on the seabed,” said volunteer crewmember and lifeboat mechanic, Mike Lawrence. “I also knew it wasn’t the sort of thing one person could lift!”

The propeller was brought to the surface by contractors working for the RNLI. It is believed to have been wrenched from the wing of the four-engined aircraft that sank just off Calshot Spit 50 years ago.