Father's Day interrupted for the Poole Lifeboat volunteers
Poole Lifeboat volunteers launched to a yacht entangled with the chain ferry
Both lifeboats launched just after 3.30pm Sunday, 21 June to a report that a 24ft yacht was pinned against the chain ferry
The 24ft Shrimper, which had two people onboard, had become entangled with the chain ferry on the inside of the harbour entrance as the ferry was heading to the North Haven side (Sandbanks side).
Conditions in the harbour were choppy with a strong ebb tide and a fresh south westerly wind.
The combination of the tide and the wind hampered any chance of the vessel getting free.
When the Atlantic launched, it was confirmed that one person was on the chain ferry and another was unaccounted for, but as the lifeboat arrived on scene, both had been accounted for and were safe a well onboard the chain ferry.
The vessel was hung up on the side of the ferry, with the staves of the mast snagged onto the ramp and the tide pushing it against the prow.
The lifeboat approached to have a closer look to assess the situation and to make sure that everyone was accounted for and not on the vessel.
The chain ferry was stationery as the lifeboat crew put a plan into place to recover the vessel.
A tow rope was established to pull the stricken vessel clear. The Atlantic took the tow under load and maneuvered until it became free from the ramp and ferry and towed the vessel back to the steps at North Haven.
Meanwhile, the chain ferry resumed back to the Sandbanks side and the D Class crew went to check that everyone onboard was okay with a member of the lifeboat crew going ashore to meet the ferry as it came in.
The Atlantic prepared to tow the vessel back to its mooring, the crew checked the vessel was seaworthy it seemed unscathed bar a bit of superficial damage.
They took the vessel back to its mooring just off Brownsea Castle, where the crew secured it and the casualties were happy to make their own way back via their tender.
Both lifeboats returned to station after a thorough clean and refuelling and were ready for service again by 5pm.
Volunteer Helm Jonathan Clark said: ‘The conditions played a part in the incident today, with a strong ebb tide and a gusting south westerly wind, it really did not help the situation. The elements can be unforgiving’.
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.