Busy weekend for Poole Lifeboat volunteers
Night and all day 'Shouts' make a hard-working, diverse weekend for the volunteers at Poole lifeboat crew
Poole’s Atlantic inshore lifeboat was launched by Solent Coastguard just before 1am (Saturday 3 June) to a 26ft yacht that ran aground at the Training Bank just outside the entrance to the harbour. The Training Bank is a notorious line of rocks in Studland Bay.
The yacht with one person on-board was heading back into the harbour and found himself to be on the Training Bank.
The lifeboat was swiftly on scene and attached a tow line after checking that the person and vessel was okay and had not encountered any ingress. They towed the vessel back to Poole to its mooring between the bridges and returned back to station and was ready for service by 3am. The volunteer crew returned back to their beds but then later in the day the pagers rang out again.
Poole’s D class lifeboat was requested to launch by Solent Coastguard to a report of a jet ski aground on the Training Bank. The lifeboat crew launched at 11.40am to a report of the jet ski with one person on-board aground at the Training Bank just outside the entrance to the harbour.
When the lifeboat arrived on scene they found that the person had managed to restart the engine and was making his own way back into the harbour, the lifeboat crew checked that he was okay and that he was happy to carry on under his own steam, which he did.
The lifeboat returned back to the lifeboat station and was refuelled and ready for service by 12.45pm.
Both Poole lifeboats were out and about initially launching at 9.45am on exercise in the harbour and Poole Bay on Sunday (June 4) when at 10.20am Solent Coastguard firstly tasked the D class, who were south of Brownsea Castle, to assist a fishing boat which was in difficulty some 1.5 miles south east of Branksome Chine.
The 25ft fishing boat with two people on-board had broken down, it had encountered engine failure and was at anchor.
When the D class arrived on scene they put a crew member on-board, a mechanic by trade, to check the engine in hope that they could restart the engine. It became apparent on closer inspection that the fuel had become contaminated so would not be able to restart. Due to the conditions and swell the D class helm requested that the Atlantic attend to tow the stricken vessel as they were nearby at North Haven. When the Atlantic arrived on scene another crew member was transferred across to help haul in the anchor.
A towline was established and both crew members transferred off the vessel. The lifeboat then took the vessel under tow back to Fishermens Dock. As they went alongside a ‘Pan Pan Pan’ radio call came through. A ‘Pan Pan Pan’ is radio communication that should be used for urgent situations that are not immediately life threatening, but require assistance.
At 12.10pm the lifeboat was tasked to help an 18ft catamaran that had capsized south of Hook Sands. When the lifeboat arrived on scene the boat that initially raised the alarm was standing by and they found a Hobie Cat capsized with two people holding onto the hull. Conditions were south westerly 4-5 with a 1.5 metre swell.
The lifeboat crew checked that the people and the vessel were okay and fortunately they and the vessel were none the worse for their adventure.
The lifeboat escorted the vessel back into Poole harbour and as the Hobie Cat was happy to continue its journey at Poole Yacht Club the lifeboat returned back to station.
The lifeboat crew refuelled and began to wash the lifeboat down when the Coastguard requested that the lifeboat crew help the Hobie Cat as they had encountered a squally wind that had gusted up and blown out their sails, they were now heading precariously onto the rocks behind the ferry terminal.
The lifeboat crew were immediately on scene and took the vessel under tow and safely back to Rockley.
The lifeboat returned back to station and prepared the lifeboat ready for service by 4pm, some 5 and ½ hours later than when they launched on exercise.
Volunteer Helm Gavin McGuinness said: ‘It was a long day today but we were happy to help, Hook Sands is a well-known hot spot at the entrance of the harbour and its shifting sands continually move. They change all the time, especially after the winter storms and can catch even the most experienced out.'
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.