Several calls in 12 hours for Poole RNLI

A busy afternoon for Poole Lifeboat volunteers who were tasked three times on St Georges Day, Saturday 23rd April.

The lifeboat was asked to launch at 3.45pm by the UK Coastguard following a report of a 38ft yacht with 3 people on board in difficulty having lost its direction. The occupants had issued a Pan-Pan distress call. Pan-pan radio calls are messages sent when situations are urgent but are not considered distress.

The stricken yacht was heading inland, approaching the Sandbanks Chain Ferry, when it lost all steerage and began to drift towards the ferry. The castaway deployed his anchor but unfortunately it did not hold, then, with the light northeast breeze, the yacht was pushed further ashore.

Windy conditions were causing the vessel to drift, when the lifeboat arrived on scene the yacht was beached just outside the harbor entrance. Another ship in the area had responded to the Pan-Pan and tried to help, but without success.

As conditions changed, the wind freshened and more swell, the lifeboat volunteers decided to tow the ship and people to safety.

A trailer was attached and the yacht was refloated. The lifeboat then brought the yacht safely back to Poole Harbor Marina.

Helm volunteer Dave Riley said:

“It was an unfortunate incident for the yacht today and the steering cable snapped at the worst possible time as they approached the harbor entrance. They did the right thing in attempting to deploy an anchor and quickly call for help.

During this service call, Class D was also released for a separate incident. Two paddleboarders were reported in difficulty near the harbor entrance. Further information then came in that both were safe and healthy, so Class D was asked to stand down, with thanks, and return to the station.

Both boats were refueled and ready for service at 6 p.m., but soon after the pagers rang again at 6:30 p.m.

Class D was tasked with helping three young paddlers who had traveled to Brownsea Island after conditions deteriorated. The paddleboarders did the right thing as they had carried phones in a dry bag so they were able to call for help. The lifeboat crew checked on the injured and then arranged to take the paddleboarders back to the North Haven Yacht Club for an appointment with a responsible adult.

When all three paddlers were safely ashore, the lifeboat returned to station, refueled and was ready for service just after 8 p.m.

Poole Lifeboats has launched 30 times this year.

RNLI Highlights

The charity RNLI saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service along the coasts of the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The RNLI operates 238 lifeguard stations in the UK and Ireland and over 240 lifeguard units on beaches in the UK and the Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of the coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its lifesaving service. Since the RNLI’s inception in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved more than 142,700 lives.

Find out more about the RNLI

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

Contact the RNLI – public inquiries

Members of the public can contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.