Swanage lifeboat launches during Pirate Festival
Swanage’s all-weather lifeboat was launched to a 30’ yacht following a ‘Pan Pan’ broadcast. The yacht’s engine had failed and in the light winds it was unable to sail against the strong tide and was being swept to the West.
The lifeboat launched and was soon alongside the yacht. A crewmember was transferred on to the yacht to check that the skipper and his cat (which had a lifejacket!) were OK. The casualty and his cat were fine and the lifeboat’s towline was passed across and the yacht was towed back to its mooring in Poole Harbour.
Crew member Becky Mack, who was celebrating her birthday said ‘I often end up on a callout on my birthday, but this was the first time I heard people singing happy birthday as we headed down the slipway! The casualty yacht was on route to the more sheltered waters of Poole due to the easterly forecast for the evening, with the engine having failed the skipper had tried to sail against the tide but it was too strong. He made the right decision to request assistance as he was drifting fast with the tide’.
Once the yacht was secured to its mooring the crewmember was recovered from the yacht and the lifeboat headed back to Swanage. Before the lifeboat left the harbour a small dinghy was spotted struggling against the ebb tide. The dinghy was escorted for a few minutes to ensure that they could return to their base. Once they had made good headway and confirmed they were happy to continue on their own the lifeboat was free to return to Swanage arriving back on the slipway after more than three hours at sea.
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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, in a normal year, 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.