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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 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