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Swanage Lifeboat launches to boat on fire

Lifeboats News Release

The Swanage all-weather lifeboat was paged to boat on fire with two people onboard near Ballard Point. The outboard engine of the small powerboat had caught fire forcing the two people onboard to prepare to evacuate the vessel.

Passing vessels went to the aid of the casualties upon seeing smoke bellowing from the vessel. The crew onboard the burning vessel had anchored and moved fuel tanks to the bow of the boat, before leaping onto one of the passing vessels.

The lifeboat launched and was quickly on scene, first taking the two casualties onboard. The volunteer lifeboat crew also rigged their hose to enable them to spray water over the smoking engine. With no visible flames or smoke the Swanage lifeboat manoeuvred to take the vessel under tow without putting any crew aboard. The volunteer lifeboat crew were able to use the anchor line of the casualty vessel to position the casualty vessel in such a way that a tow could be connected and the small powerboat could be taken to waiting Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Service to ensure the fire was completely extinguished.

Deputy Second Coxswain, Gavin Steeden who took command for this rescue said “Our primary role in a fire situation is to rescue casualties from the vessel. If safe to do so, we will return the damaged vessel to the shore to reduce the environmental impact of fuel leaks and debris, as well as the risk of the remains of a vessel causing a hazard to shipping. As we had arrived before the fire had taken hold and had been told by the casualties that the fuel was disconnected we were able to get close enough to cool the engine using our hose system to spray water over the engine cover.”

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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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Image of small powerboat on fire.

RNLI/Don Williams

Swanage lifeboat called to small powerboat with an engine fire

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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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