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Reduced visibility adds to the challenge in two calls for Poole Lifeboats

Lifeboats News Release

Poole Lifeboat launched at 2.50pm to a report of a 32ft yacht stranded outside the harbour, the vessel with 2 people on-board had ran aground on the Sandbanks side of the East Looe Channel.


The crew of the D class searching in reduced visibility

The harbour was shrouded in fog, so the lifeboat crew used the direction finding equipment on the radio to locate the casualty. The volunteers were soon on scene and after checking that the casualties were okay, a decision was made to run the anchor out to secure the vessel, which was going to wait for the tide to come back. With low water at 4pm, it was thought that the vessel would be back afloat by 6pm, as the Coastguard was going to keep a check on them and that the casualty was happy to do this, the lifeboat went back to assist the Poole D Class which by now had launched.

Whilst on route to the stricken vessel, the Atlantic lifeboat had come across two broken down jet ski’s in the fog, they were being assisted by another vessel at number 23 buoy, right in the middle of the harbour, visibility was very poor, so the Helmsman requested that the D class launch to assist the jet Ski’s.

The D Class launched in the thick pea souper when the previous crew had passed on route to the other casualty, a Rib had been attempting to tow them to safety.

The D Class arrived at Buoy 23 and found that there were no jet skis, the lifeboat had departed East Looe and joined them.

Both lifeboats searched the area in earnest with the knowledge that the cross channel ferry ‘Pelican’ was due to depart and the visibility in the main channel was increasingly poor.

The crew spoke to Parkstone yacht club safety boats, who were in the vicinity but had no recent sightings and they then searched the shoreline.

Then one of the crew spotted something beyond the gloom at Baiter slipway.

The D Class lifeboat went and investigated and found 3 jet skis on the slipway but no people. A crewman was deployed ashore to explore and he soon found the owners. They explained that they had come from Swanage but had ran out of fuel in the main channel. Happy that all was well and everyone accounted for the lifeboat returned back to station.

Poole Lifeboat volunteer Jonathan Clark said;

‘The harbour was blanketed by fog, its deceptive, as on the shoreline and beaches it’s a bright sunny spring day, but whilst on the shoreline you can hear the boom of the fog horns and look across the harbour and not see the Purbecks.

Although it’s tempting to launch, there was lots of yacht club dinghies and people out on the water, we don’t want to spoil their fun all we ask is that people heed the weather, be prepared and be aware of the conditions’.


The crew checking out some jetskis at Baiter

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland