Busy period for Poole Lifeboats at Bournemouth Air Festival
A Saturday scorcher it certainly was as hundreds of vessels took advantage of the good weather forecast and took to the water on the third day (Saturday September 2) of the Bournemouth Air Festival.
A convoy of all varieties of vessels made their way down the main channel in anticipation of an exciting day in the skies above.
The Red Arrows took to the skies with breathtaking thrills and spills at noon, just as the D class inshore lifeboat and Poole lifeboat (Atlantic) were tasked to a 17ft speed boat with two people on-board that had broken down, the stricken vessel was taking on water, so the occupants were transferred immediately across onto the Poole lifeboat, whilst one crewman from the D’ class boarded the vessel with the Atlantic’s salvage pump, to stem the ingress of water, as this was in progress a towline was attached and the Poole lifeboat towed the stricken vessel and landed it onto the beach. On inspection, a hole was found so the boat was not sea worthy. As there was no further life in danger and the vessel safely ashore West of Bournemouth pier and no longer a danger to navigation the Lifeboat crews left to continue standing by at the air show.
The Poole lifeboat was then tasked to evacuate two young people who were unwell suffering with sea sickness, the poorly people were landed safely ashore at Bournemouth Pier.
Meanwhile the D Class had been tasked by Solent Coastguard to a broken down 7.3 meter speedboat with five people on-board, off Hook sands, on arrival the crew checked that everyone was okay and attached a tow and brought them safely to their mooring off Brownsea Roads, inside the harbour.
The Atlantic was then asked to assist a 40ft motor cruiser with a fouled anchor. The vessel with four people on-board was in the thick of the action just outside the exclusion zone between the piers, the boat had got its chain tangled and wrapped around itself, so the lifeboat crew set to and managed to unravel the chain, as all was well, the motor cruiser was happy to continue on its way.
Then the Poole Lifeboat was tasked to a broken down 25ft vessel with four people on-board just outside the entrance of the harbour, when the lifeboat arrived on scene they found that the stricken vessel was undertow by a passing vessel so the lifeboat was stood down, just as they were returning back to station, another vessel required help. A 27ft yacht had encountered engine failure in Poole Bay, they were 2 miles south of Boscombe Pier, the lifeboat volunteers were swiftly on scene and checked all was okay on-board and then attached a tow line and brought the broken down vessel back to Parkstone Yacht Club.
At the same time, the D Class was assisting a 22ft vessel that had broken down off Shore Road, the vessel with four people on-board was then towed safely back to North Haven,
As the crews were finishing up the paper work and ensuring that the lifeboats were ready for service a ‘Mayday’ radio call came through and Solent Coastguard launched the Poole Lifeboat once again to a 10 meter Motor Cruiser.
It seemed that the Cruiser’s engine had lost its entire oil into the bilges, a safety boat from the Airshow was on scene but they were unable to tow the vessel due to its size and also they were on duty and needed to remain at the show until 23:00 hours.
When the lifeboat arrived on scene they attached a tow line and took the incapacitated vessel back to its mooring at Cobbs Quay. Although it was a straight forward job added to all the other jobs during the day meant that the Poole volunteers had clocked up 10 hours at sea and the weary lifeboat crew returned to station.After refueling the lifeboat was ready for service at 21:30.
Volunteer helmsman Gavin McGuinness said;
‘There were hundreds of vessels out there enjoying the show and for us it was a long day with a variety of problems to help with, we also did some training whilst afloat. We are always happy to help someone, situations out on the water can develop and get worse very quickly’.
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.