Donate now

Solo sailor anchored close to lee shore towed to safety by Swanage lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

Concern for the welfare of a solo sailor in a small yacht anchored outside of Poole Harbour resulted in the launch of both Poole and Swanage lifeboats.

Poole lifeboat was called first and found the sailor anchored in a strong tide and building winds, forecast to reach gale force overnight. The yacht's outboard motor wasn't powerful enough to safely navigate the boat in such condition, so it was decided to tow the boat into the safety of Poole Harbour. With only three crew on board, Poole's Atlantic class lifeboat crew called for the more powerful Shannon class lifeboat from Swanage to provide extra crew and horsepower.

Swanage lifeboat arrived at the scene 14 minutes after launching and placed a volunteer crew on board to help raise the anchor and connect a tow. With such a strong tide and so close to shore the evolution from anchor to tow was not without risk - but was effected quickly and the casualty was towed south around Hook Sands and into the Swash channel.

Meanwhile, Poole lifeboat had scouted ahead and found a suitable free mooring. As the tow passed Brownsea Castle the casualty was brought alongside into a more manoeuvrable arrangement and carefully driven to the mooring. After being safely secured for the night, both lifeboats were able to return to their stations to wash down and prepare the lifeboats for further service.

ALB Crew: (Coxn) Dave Turnbull, Robert Aggas, Steve Williams, John Deas, Andy Redout, Alan Parmenter
Shore Crew: (Head Launcher) Andy Redout, (Winchman) Nigel Bower, Felix Williams, Jamie Trumper, Julian Vass

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.