A busy week for Swanage lifeboats

Lifeboats News Release

Swanage lifeboats have launched three times in the last week to assist people in trouble on, or close to, the water.

Swanage ILB being recovered on her slipway following a rescue of two paddleboaders, Crew wearing additional PPE due to Covid-19.

RNLI/Steve Williams

Swanage ILB being recovered.
On Sunday 17th May the inshore lifeboat (ILB) launched to locate and assist a jetski reported to be in trouble near St Albans Head. The ILB arrived on scene around 20 minutes later and identified the casualty who was drifting quickly in the strong breeze with no engine. The casualty had fallen from the jetski and broken their kill-cord rendering the engine useless.

The volunteer ILB crew set up a tow and brought the vessel back to Swanage Bay where a spare kill-cord was collected to enable the casualty to continue their passage home.

Three days later the Swanage all-weather lifeboat (ALB) was launched to a small fishing boat with two people onboard who had requested assistance from Durlston Bay. Their outboard engine had failed, and they had anchored to stop themselves drifting towards the cliffs. The vessel was quickly found within 5 minutes of launching. The fishing vessel's engine had seized and was unable to be fixed at sea so it was towed to Poole where repairs could be carried out.

On Friday 22 May the Swanage volunteer lifeboat crew were paged for the third time in a week. The ILB was launched at lunchtime to investigate reports of two paddleboarders appearing in difficulty in Swanage Bay. A strong offshore wind was blowing, and the young paddleboarders were unable to return to shore and were quickly being blown to deep, open water. The ILB quickly found the two casualties and recovered them and their boards to the lifeboat so that they could be returned to shore to their waiting family.

Swanage inshore lifeboat helm, Becky Mack said: ‘This flurry of rescues has led to our volunteers spending over four hours at sea in less than a week. This is before we even reach the busy bank holiday weekend. Thankfully everyone was recovered safe and well.’

Due to Covid-19 the volunteer lifeboat crew are following new safety procedures at sea and at the lifeboat station to help protect the crew, and those they come into close proximity with during rescues. This enables the volunteers to continue their lifesaving work as safely as possible.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Her Majesty’s (HM) Coastguard have just launched a new beach safety campaign.

Following the recent easing of nationwide lockdown restrictions in England and with children still off school, many more people are expected to visit the coast to exercise and take part in water-based activities.

Whilst RNLI lifeboat crews and HM Coastguard are still on call ready to respond to emergencies, the message is clear; we need the public to be aware of dangers, take responsibility for themselves and their loved ones and remember that, in an emergency, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.


Notes to Editors

  • Photograph of the Swanage inshore lifeboat being recovered after a rescue. Credit Steve Williams

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For more information please telephone Becky Mack, Swanage RNLI Volunteer Press Officer on 07812 558487 or at [email protected]

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Swanage lifeboat crew at the boathouse.

RNLI/Roydon Woodford

Swanage lifeboat crew at the boathouse

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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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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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