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Poole lifeboat launched in choppy conditions after reports of a capsized vessel

Lifeboats News Release

Poole Lifeboat was requested to launch by UK Coastguard just after 08.30am Thursday (September 3) to a report that a 7m white hulled vessel had been seen drifting some 6 miles off to sea near the Cruise ships in Poole Bay.

Poole lifeboat volunteers headed out to investigate, visibility in Poole Bay was up to 2 miles, with strong winds gusting from the South West force 5 to 6, whipping up white caps on the waves, thus made searching for a white hull quite tricky.

When the lifeboat crew arrived on scene they began to search, following the direction of the wind and tracking down as they searched, the weather began to close in and it was quite miserable for a time, then the lifeboat volunteers spotted the vessel lying on its side.

The lifeboat crew investigated the vessel and could see that it sails were still stowed away, it appeared that there was nothing untoward. A member of crew was transferred across and a line was attached to the tip of the mast to re right the dinghy. The lifeboat then had to consider where to tow the vessel back to as they soon realised with the tracking and the wind blowing them east, they were some 10 miles off Poole and 4 miles from Mudeford.

The decision was made to take the stricken vessel to Mudeford, which they did, and the lifeboat crew rendezvoused with Southbourne Coastguard volunteers and passed the vessel on to them.

The Poole crew then embarked on a steady plod back and after refuelling and a thorough wash down the lifeboat was ready for service just before 1pm.

Volunteer Helm Dave Riley said;

‘Conditions were quite choppy and testing today, although we didn’t know what we were going to find, it was a relief to discover the sails stowed away and tied down, you just never know. It was a call out with good intent’.


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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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