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Pagers sound marking the start of the month to assist 40’ yacht with rudder foul

Lifeboats News Release

Swanage lifeboat were paged Saturday evening after the UK Coastguard were contacted by a 40’ yacht, the ‘Ocean Gem’. She had fallen foul of fishing gear close to the entrance of the Swash channel on the approach to Poole Harbour. With her rudder tangled assistance was required.

The lifeboat launched and plotted a route to the casualty, who informed the lifeboat that they had managed to free themselves from the seabed but were still towing some line and floats. With the lifeboat on-scene and monitoring the situation the yacht’s intention was to sail into Studland Bay to anchor for the night.

With the lifeboat escorting slow progress was being made by Ocean Gem with light winds and trailing fishing gear so the Skipper agreed the best option was to take a tow back to Swanage Bay and the safety of the RNLI’s mooring. More facilities would be available if necessary to help them clear the gear and check for other damage in the morning.

Swanage lifeboat volunteer crew passed a tow and best speed was made back to Swanage. Once on the mooring the crew of the yacht were happy to remain onboard and the lifeboat was released to return to station. The volunteers were all ashore by 11.15pm

Coxswain Robert Aggas said “As a charity the RNLI launch to assist all vessels on the 19,000 miles of coastline around the UK and it’s good to see the yacht was well prepared and took the right actions. They called for help before attempting their own release. Had the situation developed the lifeboat was already underway”.

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For more information please telephone Becky Mack, Swanage RNLI Volunteer Press Officer on 07812 558487 or at

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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 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