Five incidents in three days keep Poole Lifeboat volunteers busy

Lifeboats News Release

The busy spell started Friday evening (March 24) as the pagers sounded at 5.30pm to reports of a kite surfer in difficulty off Shore Road on the seaward side of Sandbanks. En-route further information came in that the kite surfer had safely made it ashore and the lifeboat was stood down.

RNLI/Dave Riley

Poole Lifeboats

Saturday (March 25) saw the Atlantic 85 launch into action again as Poole Lifeboat volunteers were tasked to reports of a jetski broken down and drifting.

A call was made to UK Coastguard from the jetski occupants that they had suffered mechanical problems and were now drifting in Poole Harbour. The lifeboat launched at 3.50pm and located the jetski South of Brownsea Island.

The jetski and two occupants were taken under tow towards Baiter Park slipway. During the tow a motorboat waived the lifeboat down informing them they had just come across some windsurf equipment drifting with the tide. After a quick inspection it looked like the rig had been manually detached from the board and there was no immediate cause for concern.

The jetski was towed to Baiter Park slipway and the lifeboat returned to the motorboat with the windsurf equipment. On further inspection of the kit and considering the wind and tide conditions it was likely to have come from the Whitley Lake area.

Information was later received that the owner had contacted the Coastguards with regards to the missing windsurf equipment.

Helm Gavin McGuiness said ‘we quickly located the jetski and the two occupants who were well prepared with buoyancy aids and drysuits. It’s an unfortunate incident to suffer mechanical problems but we swiftly got them ashore. With regards to missing sports equipment, if you lose equipment please contact the Coastguard at the earliest opportunity.’

The lifeboat was re-fuelled and ready for service by 6.35pm.

Only a few hours later both lifeboats launched shortly after 10pm after a windsurf rig was washed up in the area of Whitley Lake.

With concerns now for a missing person both lifeboats, rescue helicopter 106 and Poole Coastguard conducted a thorough search of the area.

Further information came in that the person had earlier made it safely ashore and had ditched their rig.

We would ask that if you lose sports equipment or have to leave anything to self rescue then please report this to the coastguard.

Both boats were re-fuelled and ready for service at 00:20

Sunday (March 26) morning a member of the public at Sandbanks had reported a kitesurfer down and struggling and spotted another person swimming to their aid.

Poole Atlantic lifeboat launched in a strong easterly breeze and conducted a search from the entrance of Poole Harbour to Shore Road.

After several search legs another kite surfer approached the lifeboat and confirmed that the person I question was in difficulty but was now safely ashore.

With the beaches being extremely busy a no further concerns for people in the water the lifeboat stood down.

Helm Alex Evans said, ‘with the breaking surf and choppy conditions this made the search challenging to spot people in the water. We were pleased to hear there person had made it ashore safely.’

Media contacts

Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer - or the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.


Poole lifeboat assisting the jetski


Poole lifeboat searching in rough conditions

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, in a normal year, 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.