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Missing fisherman sparks multi-agency search in rough seas

Lifeboats News Release

Swanage's Shannon class all-weather lifeboat launched to assist local volunteer coastguard teams and coastguard rescue helicopter 'Rescue 175' after a person fishing in the Kimmeridge area was reported overdue.

Although Swanage Bay was relatively calm, the volunteer crew had been out training earlier in the day and knew sea conditions to the west were rough. Coupled with an ebbing tide, the crew strapped into their seat harnesses and plotted the 30 minute passage to Kimmeridge.

Good progress was made, although some slight damage was sustained after hitting a particularly steep wave at St Albans Head, and the lifeboat arrived south of Clavell Tower at 1.25pm. At the same time, Kimmeridge and Lulworth coastguard teams were beginning shore-line searches around Kimmeridge Bay, Broad Bench and any accessible areas westward to Worbarrow Tout. The Coastguard helicopter 'Rescue 175' was also en route and the Swanage lifeboat was tasked with a slow seaward search from Clavell to Worbarrow.

As the crew were settling into their search role a radio call came from the onshore Coastguard team stating that a casualty had been found. All assets continued searching while a medical professional assessed the casualty and the identity of the casualty was confirmed. Shortly afterwards confirmation came that the casualty was the missing person and the lifeboat was able to reverse the route and run down sea back to the shelter of Swanage Bay. The lifeboat was back at the slipway at 2.10pm, where the crew washed down the boat and made ready for further incidents.

Our thoughts are with the casualty's family and friends at this time.

ALB Crew: (Coxn) Gavin Steeden, Steve Williams, Tom Greasty, John Deas, Phil Palmer, Alan Parmenter
Shore Crew: (Head Launcher) Gary Buglass, (Winchman) Andy Redout, Matthew Steeden, Ben Bamber

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.