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Five shouts in one weekend for Mudeford RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

The last weekend in October was to prove a busy one for the volunteer Mudeford RNLI crew.

Four RNLI crew on board an Atlantic 85 lifeboat breaking through waves.

RNLI/Chris Harris

The Mudeford Servant Atlantic 85 lifeboat and crew near Mudeford Spit

On a blustery Friday, 27 Oct, at 1.09pm, the Mudeford Servant Atlantic 85 lifeboat was tasked to a dinghy that had capsized near the Run in Christchurch Harbour.

The crew launched at 1.15pm and arrived on scene at 1.21pm. The casualty had managed to swim back to shore where he was met by members of HM Coastguard Rescue Team and Mudeford RNLI Shore Crew. Having established the casualty was safe and well, the lifeboat crew set out to recover the unmanned dingy which had drifted half a mile out of the harbour.

On reaching the casualty’s vessel, a member of the Mudeford RNLI crew transferred to the dinghy and fixed a tow line. With the dinghy secured, the lifeboat made its way back through the Run into Christchurch Harbour, where the dinghy was safely returned to its owner. The lifeboat headed back to station at 1.50pm.

RNLI volunteer Helm, Ian Parker, said, ‘The unmanned dinghy was drifting rapidly out to sea and as a potential hazard to other vessels on the water it needed to be urgently recovered. We are pleased the casualty is safe and well.'

At 12.30pm on Sunday 29 Oct, the lifeboat was tasked to a man who had fallen overboard from a rib near Stanpit Marsh. The crew arrived on scene at 12.35pm. The casualty had made it to shore where he was recovered by the Maritime Volunteer Service (MVS). The rib, however, was still under power and circling dangerously round and round on itself.

After attempting to foul the vessels prop with a line, the crew used the lifeboat’s wash to push the rib ashore and force it aground at Grimmery Point. The crew then handed care of the vessel to the MVS.

The Mudeford RNLI crew were then immediately tasked to Naish Beach, where a man was reported to be trapped by the tide. Arriving on scene at 12.54pm the crew spotted the casualty attempting to climb up the cliff. He was eventually recovered on land by the Coastguard Rescue Team and with no further assistance required, the crew left the scene at 1.25pm and returned to station.

At 2.25pm the lifeboat crew were tasked to a windsurfer reported to be in difficulty at Avon Beach. Arriving on scene, with multiple windsurfers on the water, the volunteer crew commenced a search for any windsurfer in difficulty. No one was found in need of assistance and the lifeboat returned to station at 2.39pm.

Later that evening at 7.46pm, the Mudeford RNLI crew were tasked to assist in the recovery of a casualty who had fallen in the River Avon. The lifeboat was requested to provide a backstop on the river near Bridge Street. The crew launched at 7.55pm but were stood down shortly after as the casualty was successfully recovered by the emergency services.

Lifeboat Operations Manager, Tim Hewett, said, ‘This was an extremely busy weekend for the Mudeford RNLI crew, and our colleagues in the Coastguard Rescue, Maritime Volunteer, and emergency services teams. We are pleased that everyone was recovered safely.

‘Changeable squally weather and strong winds can often make conditions on the water unpredictable. We always advise anyone going out on the water in such conditions, to make sure they have checked the winds and tides as well as having the right safety equipment. It’s important to let someone know where they are going and always carry a means of raising the alarm.’

The Mudeford Servant Atlantic 85 lifeboat has launched 85 times this year so far. More than the whole of last year when the station had 65 shouts.

Media Contacts:

Robert King, volunteer Mudeford Lifeboat Press Officer, 07810 637471, [email protected]

Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer London and the South East (07785) 296252 [email protected]

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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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.