Swanage lifeboat tasked to Mayday on the May Day bank holiday during crew BBQ

Lifeboats News Release

As the sausages were just about to be served the pagers sounded at 12:50pm with a request to launch to a Mayday distress call.

Swanage lifeboat along side casualty yacht

RNLI/Becky Mack

Swanage lifeboat along side casualty yacht
The RNLI Shannon class lifeboat was tasked with responding to the distress call that had been made by a 39’ yacht that was rapidly taking on water near Swanage bay. The casualty yacht was quickly located and the all-weather lifeboat manoeuvered alongside the casualty vessel to transfer two volunteer crewmen and the salvage pump to manage the rapid ingress of water. Once onboard, and with the salvage pump running, the powerful water pump quickly emptied the yacht of water.

Deputy Coxswain Gavin Steeden said “The yacht was well prepared and took the correct steps to call for assistance. We quickly established that it was not possible to stop the water ingress at sea and therefore getting the yacht to a safe haven to be lifted was essential. The fair weather also provided a good opportunity to take one of our newer crew, Richard Lloyd on his first shout to enhance his ongoing training”.

With the immediate danger on hold the crew were able to make a more detailed assessment of the situation and to try to find the cause of the problem. Attempts at a resolving the problem facing the casualty vessel were made, but it was not possible to stop the water ingress whilst the boat was at sea, therefore the only remaining option was to arrange for the vessel to be lifted from the water.

The nearest place for such an operation was Poole Yacht Club, in Poole Harbour and arrangements were made to take the casualty vessel under tow by the Shannon Lifeboat, with the two volunteer crew members remaining onboard the yacht to manage the ingress of water with the salvage pump.

The lifeboat from the flanking RNLI station, Poole, came out to meet the Swanage lifeboat as they approached Poole Harbour to take over the tow. With the tow handed over just off Brownsea Island Swanage lifeboat was release to return to return to station.


Notes to Editors

Photo - Shannon alongside casualty vessel, credit RNLI

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For more information please telephone Becky Mack, Swanage RNLI Volunteer Press Officer on 07812 558487 or at lpo@swanagelifeboat.org.uk

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