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Swanage RNLI volunteer crew rescue stricken yacht on Mayday bank holiday

Lifeboats News Release

The Mayday bank holiday got off to an early start for the Swanage RNLI volunteers when the pagers sounded at 8am

Solent Coastguard requested the launch of the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) to assist a 9 metre yacht that was fouled on a lobster pot marker buoy not far from St Albans Head.

The stricken yacht crew had issued a 'pan pan’ and were unable to free themselves. The lifeboat slipped its mooring at around 8.15am and was alongside the casualty a little over 15 minutes later.

The Coxswain, Dave Turnbull, was able to hold the lifeboat in position alongside the yacht, placing two volunteer lifeboat crew aboard the stricken yacht to help release the yacht’s propeller from the line and secure a tow when it became clear it was not possible to remove all the line.

Dave Turnbull said: 'The manoeuvrability of the new state-or-the-art Shannon class lifeboat came in to its own, enabling me to quickly and safely come alongside the stricken yacht.'

The yacht was secured to the RNLI mooring in Swanage Bay and a local diver offered to clear the obstruction from the yacht a little later in the day.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were then free to return the lifeboat to its mooring and enjoy their Bank Holiday.

Notes to editors

RNLI media contacts

For more information contact Becky Mack, volunteer lifeboat press officer at Swanage RNLI, at or 07812 558487 or Emma Haines, RNLI Public Relations Manager, on 07786 668847 or

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland