Poole volunteers deal with multiple incidents on final day of bank holiday

Lifeboats News Release

Poole RNLI volunteers launched three times on the final day of the bank holiday weekend dealing with a vessel with steering failure at the harbour entrance, a capsized vessel and missing paddleboarders.


Poole Lifeboat with the 30ft vessel under tow
Poole lifeboat was launched just before 3pm (Monday 29 August) by UK Coastguard to a motorboat that was reported to be ‘out of control’.

The motorboat was just outside the harbour near the Chain Ferry, conditions were choppy, with an easterly breeze.
The lifeboat arrived on scene and transferred a crewmember on-board, the vessel had an anchor down, but it hard started dragging, and the volunteers had to act swiftly as the SS Shieldhall was incoming in the Swash Channel, Steamship Shieldhall is Britain’s largest working steamship.

A tow line was attached as the vessel was incapacitated with the steering jammed hard over. The lifeboat towed the vessel up the harbour, then rendezvoused with Sea Start who had been called earlier to aid the vessel.

With the vessel safe and underway the lifeboat returned to station, refuelled, and was made ready for service.
Then at 5pm the lifeboat was launched to a report of two people in the water from a capsized dinghy at the entrance of the harbour.

The lifeboat arrived on scene to find the harbour boat ‘Vixen’ had the sailing dinghy in tow, with one person on the sailing dinghy, a child had been recovered from the water and was in a rib that was thankfully passing by when the vessel had initially capsized. The child was transferred onto the lifeboat, the crew checked that he was okay, then continued to the sailing dinghy that was undertow, the other casualty was reunited with the child onto the lifeboat and taken to Salterns Marina. The casualties were wet and cold. Poole Coastguards were tasked to attend.
The casualties were taken ashore with a crewmember, staff at Salterns were on hand and gave the casualties dry clothes and a warm drink, they were extremely helpful, and the lifeboat crew were grateful for their kind assistance as the lifeboat went to retrieve the sailing dinghy.

The crew bought the sailing dinghy back to Salterns, where staff were on hand to help secure it and the crew member ashore returned onto the boat. As everyone was safe ashore, the lifeboat was stood down with thanks and returned to station.

But not for long as the pagers rang out again just after 8pm.

UK coastguard had received multiple 999 calls as two paddleboarder’s were reported to be parted from their boards and clinging to the East Looe no 4 buoy, just outside the entrance of the harbour, towards Sandbanks.
The Atlantic launched immediately and quickly located the boards tied to the buoy, but no sign of the paddle boarders the light was fading fast and there was a strong tide, so with some urgency the lifeboat crew began to search back down the tide, The D class was also requested to launch, along with a search and rescue helicopter and Poole Coastguards were searching shoreside.

As the lifeboat were conducting searches, some 20 minutes or so after they had launched, news came through that the paddleboarders had been found safe and ashore, so all assets were stood down and the lifeboat went back to retrieve the paddleboards and took them back to the boathouse for the casualties to collect later.

Volunteer Helm Dave Riley said:
‘The members of the public that dialled 999 did exactly the right thing as it could have been a different story, with the darkness approaching and roaring tide, so thank you to them for their vigilance.’

Another busy day for the Poole volunteers with a total of 116 launches this year.


Recovering the capsized dinghy


Poole RNLI volunteers with the found paddleboard

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.

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