Volunteers from Poole RNLI dealt with a variety of incidents during the airshow weekend ranging from head injuries, boat collisions, swamped vessels and those suffering engine failure.
With the weather warming up, lots of people took the opportunity to get out and about on the water and enjoy the air show, but this meant an increase in the volumes of vessels afloat, accidents and incidents are bound to happen, so the volunteers at Poole Lifeboat station launch on exercise and if needed can respond quicker, be more reactive and immediately on scene, this weekend was no exception, we were in demand.
Friday September 1st promised to be better weather wise for the air show, with flying commencing in the afternoon, the sunshine bursting through the clouds as the planes entertained the crowds ashore and afloat.
Poole’s D class was requested by the Coastguard to assist a vessel whose prop and become entangled with another boats anchor warp. The vessels had been waiting for ‘Sea Start’, the lifeboat crew checked the occupants were okay and assisted by cutting the anchor free, the lifeboat recovered the freed anchor and returned it to the casualty.
Shortly, after the Red Arrows had given a fantastic fly by, the D class was tasked to a 6 metre flat bottomed transatlantic rowing boat that had ran aground in Holes Bay, near to the end of Davis’s boat yard pontoons, the vessel with two people on board was stuck on the mud, but the occupants were happy to wait for the tide to come back and had provisions to sustain themselves for the duration, with the Coastguard monitoring at intervals. Sometime later it was decided that the D class should return to the stricken vessel as even though the tide had come back, the vessels rudder was still stuck fast, and light was fading. The lifeboat was soon on scene attached a tow line and coaxed the boat free. The lifeboat escorted the vessel back to Davis boat yard. Once back alongside the D Class headed back to station and was ready for service by 10pm.
Meanwhile whilst the Atlantic was out on exercise at the Air show, they were tasked alongside Mudeford lifeboat to search for a missing six-year-old on Bournemouth beach. Poole lifeboat was tasked to search from west of Bournemouth Pier and Mudeford to the east. After a short search good news came through that the child had been located ashore safe and well.
Later, as hundreds of boats headed back home, entering the harbour, Poole Lifeboat was standing by. With the strong outgoing tide added to the huge amount of traffic inbound, with excess wake in the ‘Air Show flotilla’ rush air the water was choppy and confused. A 14ft vessel with two people on-board lost power shortly after passing the Chain Ferry. Poole Lifeboat was quickly on scene, to avert further misfortune and towed the vessel through the choppy swells to a safe mooring off Brownsea Castle.
Sunday(Sept 3) day 4 of the Air Show was simply stunning and the never-ending morning bridge lift saw umpteen boats heading off to capture the Vitamin D Dose of sunshine and the promised ariel display action in the skies above.
Both Lifeboats headed out on exercise.
The Atlantic was requested to attend to the Waverly passenger boat, the Waverely is a seagoing paddle steamer and was out in Poole Bay, one of its passengers had suffered an injury to their head. A Poole crewmember boarded the Waverley to administer casualty care. The lifeboat volunteer assessed the casualty and administered first aid. As the vessel was heading back to Swanage an ambulance was requested to meet the vessel in Swanage, for the lady to seek further treatment. As the Waverley was now underway the lifeboat volunteer gingerly made his way down the pilot steps to board the lifeboat.
The Atlantic was then requested to help a vessel that was traversing the entrance of the harbour when it lost its windscreen to a rogue wave and was taking on water. On arrival at Bell Buoy the ‘Shetland’ type vessel was with a ‘good Samaritan’ who had taken the vessel under tow, the Atlantic departed the scene as it was redeployed to a report of a two-boat collision at Bournemouth pier.
Poole Lifeboat was soon on scene along with RNLI Mudeford lifeboat. Poole lifeboat located a Scarab vessel that had collided with a Boston Whaler some 100 metres off the southern end of Bournemouth exclusion zone.
The Police Rib Barracuda and a RNLI Jet ski were also scene.
The lifeboat crews assessed the casualties and casualty care was immediately administered, one person had a nasty cut, which the crew dressed, and another sustained a chest injury, all were quite shaken. As there was some concern a decision was made to transport two of the injured casualties back to the lifeboat station where an ambulance had been requested to stand by. Mudeford then took the Boston Whaler undertow and brought it back to Cobbs Quay, the other vessel the Scarab was able to make its own way back.
As this was going on, the D Class which had returned to station was requested to locate and help assess a young person who had also encountered head injuries as the crew were mustering to launch the casualty came alongside the quay on board a boat (they were intending to head back to Poole). Casualty care was given by crew at the station and the casualty were transferred to the care of the ambulance crew. Poole Coastguard Rescue Team were also on scene to assist.
A very busy weekend for all concerned, we wish all the casualties a speedy recovery, accidents happen even to the most experienced, when you least expect it and with the exceptional spring tides this weekend which were extreme.
The call out for Poole volunteers stand at 126.
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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