3 incidents at the same time for Weymouth Lifeboats

Lifeboats News Release

Weymouth RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched at 5.35pm on Sunday 21st June to reports from Solent Coastguard of a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) with three persons onboard in difficulties at Bowleaze Cove.

RNLI/Ken Francis

Weymouth ALB & ILB

Whilst on route to the location, a radio call from Solent Coastguard re-tasked them to search for a missing swimmer at Lulworth Cove. The RIB incident was left for a Coastguard CRT to deal with, as at this time the RIB was reported to be ashore.

The Inshore lifeboat continued to the Lulworth Cove area to search for the missing swimmer.

At 5.44pm the All-weather lifeboat was launched to search for a missing swimmer at Durdle Door, this later turned out to be the same missing swimmer that the Inshore lifeboat was searching for.

The search quickly escalated with a helicopter and two Coastguard teams joining in the search.

It was reported that the missing swimmer was one of three who had set out to swim to some rocks near to Durdle Door and on the way back to shore one of them went missing.

An intensive search of the area was carried out from the shore line to a distance off. The Y boat (a small inflatable boat carried by the All-weather lifeboat) was launched from the All-weather lifeboat to search in very close to the rocks.

At 6.30pm the All-weather lifeboat was re-tasked to reports of four paddle boarders in difficulties near to the Stone Pier. Before it arrived on scene the situation had been resolved by an off duty lifeboat crew volunteer who was paddle boarding in the area and managed to get the small group of girls on three paddle boards and an inflatable ashore by himself. The All-weather lifeboat then rejoined the search at Durdle Door.

The search continued by the three lifeboats and helicopter until 10pm when with nothing found, all units were stood down and returned to station.

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.

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