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Extensive search for Poole volunteers after drifting inflatable unicorn found

Lifeboats News Release

Poole lifeboat was requested to launch by UK Coastguard at 3.45pm Wednesday (April 1) to a report of an inflatable that was sighted some 400 metres out to sea off Middle Chine, with a possibility that a child was with it.A training lifeboat was also in the vicinity of Poole Bay and responded.


The inflatable unicorn onboard Poole Lifeboat
As the Poole Lifeboat headed through the harbour, news came through over the radio that the training lifeboat had located the inflatable and confirmed that there was no person on board at that time.

The training lifeboat began to conduct a search from where the inflatable had been located and worked on out from that position.

Meanwhile, the Poole lifeboat began a shoreline search, as they completed a length, they stepped back and began another length.

Coastguard teams from Poole, Southbourne and Swanage conducted an extensive search from the shore.

After a thorough search by all assets the Poole lifeboat was stood down.
The lifeboat returned to station and was refuelled and washed down, made ready for service just after 5.30pm.

Volunteer Helm Dave Riley said:

We couldn’t be certain that there had not been a person with the inflatable, so we had to conduct an extensive search. Inflatables can be great fun, but the lifeboats and lifeguards are being called out more and more to help people who get into difficulty and swept away with an inflatable, they really are best kept for use in a swimming pool.' 


Poole volunteers advise not to use inflatables at the beach

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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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