Multiple calls in 12 hours for Poole RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

A busy afternoon for Poole Lifeboat volunteers who were tasked three times on St Georges day, Saturday (April 23rd).

The lifeboat was requested to launch at 3.45pm by UK Coastguard to a report of a 38ft yacht with 3 people on-board in difficulty having lost its steerage. The occupants had issued a Pan-Pan distress call. Pan-Pan radio calls are messages sent when situations are urgent but do not qualify as distress.

The stricken yacht was heading inbound, approaching the Sandbanks chain ferry, when it lost all steerage and began drifting towards the ferry. The casualty deployed their anchor but sadly it didn’t hold, then, with the slight north easterly breeze, the yacht was pushed further ashore.

The wind conditions were causing the vessel to drift, when the lifeboat arrived on scene, the yacht was aground just outside the harbour entrance. Another vessel in the area had responded to the Pan -Pan and had attempted to assist but was unsuccessful.

Conditions were changing, the wind freshening and more swell, the lifeboat volunteers decided to tow the vessel and people to a point of safety.

A towline was attached, and the yacht was eased back afloat. The lifeboat then brought the yacht safely back to the Port of Poole marina.

Volunteer Helm Dave Riley said:

‘It was an unfortunate incident for the yacht today and the steering cable broke at the worst possible moment as they approached the harbour entrance. They did the right thing in attempting to deploy an anchor and swiftly calling for help.’

During this service call, the D class was also launched to a separate incident. Two paddleboarders were reported in difficulty near to the harbour entrance. Further information then came through that the two people were safe and well so the D class was requested to stand down, with thanks and returned to station.

Both boats were refuelled and ready for service by 6pm, but no long after the pagers sounded again at 6:30pm.

The D class was tasked to assist three young paddle boarders who had made it to Brownsea Island after the conditions had deteriorated. The paddleboarders did the right thing as they had carried phones in a dry bag, so were able to call for help. The lifeboat crew checked that the casualties were okay then they arranged to take the paddleboarders back to North Haven Yacht Club to rendezvous with a responsible adult.

When the three paddle boarders were safely ashore, the lifeboat returned to station, refuelled and was ready for service just after 8pm.

Poole Lifeboats have launched 30 times this year.


Poole Lifeboat assisting the yacht

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 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.