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Emergency response to dramatic boat fire in the Lymington River

Lifeboats News Release

Lymington RNLI crew pagers sounded at 2.47pm on Sunday 22 October. Leaving weekend family gatherings, the volunteer crew hurried to launch the stations B-class inshore lifeboat.

Lymington lifeboat launching with burning boat in background

RNLI/Joanna Styles

Lymington Lifeboat launch to boat fire

‘Boat fires notoriously take hold very quickly. Our primary concern is danger to life and ensuring anyone onboard is safely evacuated.’ Crewman Ben Jeffreys explains.

The lifeboat proceeded quickly towards the clearly visible, thick black smoke bellowing from the casualty vessel on the eastern shore of the river. Shortly after launch, the crew were informed that the two people from the burning boat had been rescued by a passing fishing boat.

The lifeboat crew was then tasked to ensure passing boats kept well clear of the danger and provide safety cover for the fire service, who attended and extinguished the fire. Two fire engines, HM Coastguard and police had also mustered to jointly manage the situation, on and off the water.

‘We escorted the casualty vessel, towed by the Harbour Master, to the slip way. Unfortunately the vessel had burned almost to the waterline but all persons were unharmed thanks to the quick, professional response of all involved.’ Helm Declan O’Riordan commented.

The lifeboat was recovered, cleaned and ready for service by 5.04pm.

Crew: Declan O’Riordan (Helm), Ben Jeffreys and Ted Ward.

RNLI Contact details:

Jo Styles, Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer, Lymington Lifeboat Station (07725) 640871 [email protected]

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

For enquiries outside normal business hours contact the RNLI duty press officer on (01202) 336789

RNLI online: For more information on the RNLI please visit News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre.

Casualty vessel on fire

RNLI/Joanna Styles

Casualty vessel on fire
Fire engines gather as fire burns in background

RNLI/Joanna Styles

Multi agency response to boat fire

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.