Swanage all-weather lifeboat rescues three people during Storm Freya
Swanage volunteers launch during Storm Freya to rescue three people who were immersed and swimming after their dinghy capsized.
Swanage volunteer lifeboat crew were paged at 4:43pm following a 999 call to the Coastguard from a member of the public. The call from Studland bay area initiated the rescue of three people as Storm Freya arrived. Swanage’s all-weather lifeboat along with the volunteers from Swanage Coastguard were tasked to go to Studland Bay area following the report of a small dinghy capsizing and three people being in the water.
The lifeboat launched and was in Studland Bay eight minutes later. The upturned hull of the dinghy was spotted shortly after arrival along with some items of clothing. The only other vessel in Studland Bay area at the time was a yacht at anchor a little distance inshore of the dinghy’s position.
The yacht appeared to have people on board that were waving, so the lifeboat went alongside to see if they had further information. It quickly transpired that the three people on board were actually the people who had been in the dinghy and had been in the water for around 45 minutes.
They had managed to swim to the yacht (which wasn’t theirs), get on board and try to find shelter from the strong westerly wind of Storm Freya. Two crew members were put aboard the yacht to assess the casualties. They were all very cold and required immediate evacuation.
With the casualties onboard the lifeboat made best speed to the ferry landing stage at the entrance to Poole Harbour. En route the casualties were dried off and put in to some dry clothing to help warm them up. They were then transferred to ambulances for further treatment.
With the casualties transferred and the lifeboat returning to station passing back across Studland a search for the dinghy was undertaken but sadly it could be located.
At the same time, the owner of the yacht had got in touch with the Coastguard to say that he was heading back out to sea to his yacht. With the current storm the lifeboat escorted him out as conditions were still very windy and the casualties had said that they had tried but failed to get in to the yacht’s cabin in an attempt to find somewhere warm to shelter. The yacht was checked for damage, which there was none, so the lifeboat was released to return to Swanage
Dave Turnbull, Coxswain of Swanage lifeboat station said, ‘It’s a timely reminder that if you see someone in difficulties at sea, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard. You could save someone’s life.’
Notes to Editors
Photos shows Swanage all-weather lifeboat Credit RNLI stock
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