Lifeboats launch to vessel stuck on the Chain Ferry

Lifeboats News Release

Poole Lifeboat was tasked by UK Coastguard at just before 5pm (Wednesday April 14) to a vessel pinned against the Sandbanks Chain Ferry.

Poole Lifeboat responding to vessel stuck against the Chain Ferry Poole Harbour

RNLI/Poole Lifeboat

Poole Lifeboat standing by at the Chain Ferry
The Sandbanks Chain Ferry had broken down earlier in the afternoon and with passengers still on-board a local experienced skipper offered to help take the people off. He carefully laid his vessel alongside the chain ferry to evacuate passengers off the ferry.
Conditions in the harbour were clear and calm, with a south westerly force 1 breeze, however there was a strong ebb tide when the lifeboat arrived.
The vessel had gone smoothly alongside, and passengers began to disembark, meanwhile the Chain Ferry had managed to overcome its problem and it was decided that the passengers should return onto the Chain Ferry to resume their journey. As this was happening the tide turned and the good Samaritan vessel, found itself pinned against the Chain Ferry and low tide was not until some two hours later.

As this was unfolding the UK coastguard launched Poole lifeboat and Swanage Lifeboat Station as at that stage there may have been passengers on-board and with the changing conditions, there was also concern that the stricken vessel was listing and could get damaged and take on water with the force of the tide.

Poole Lifeboat arrived on scene and found that there was three people on-board the stricken vessel, who were the skipper and crew and they were safe and not in any imminent danger at that time. Swanage lifeboat arrived on scene and it was decided that Poole Lifeboat transferred a crew member safely onto the ferry, on the down tide side, who then in turn got onto the casualty vessel enabling clear communications.
A towline was passed by Swanage Lifeboat and they pulled the vessel clear, into safer water. After a check to see that the vessel was okay, they signalled that they were happy to continue the passage back to Poole.
The Chain Ferry continued and both lifeboats returned to station.

After refuelling and wash-down the lifeboat was ready for service by 7.30pm.

Volunteer Helm Dave Riley said: ‘It was just unfortunate today, conditions change so quickly, but all were safe and well and the Chain Ferry service resumed.

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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 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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