Coastguard helicopter and Swanage RNLI investigate mysterious drifting boat

Swanage Lifeboat was deployed alongside a coastguard helicopter to investigate a boat that appeared to have no one on board.

The call came on Sunday 20th December 2020 when a passing tanker alerted the UK Coastguard that a working boat seemed to be drifting freely about 24 nautical miles south of Swanage.

Advertisement 

Fearing that lives could be at risk, a lifeboat and coastguard helicopter were sent to the scene.

Boat adrift at sea
Swanage RNLI

A “risky” situation

Upon arrival at the scene, the helicopter crew established that it was too risky to send a person down to investigate the boat further.

The boat appeared to have drifted away after its mooring lines had broken.

A spokesperson for Swanage RNLI said:

“Concerned that there may be lives in danger, the UK Coastguard requested the launch of the Swanage Shannon class lifeboat and also tasked Coastguard Rescue Helicopter ‘R-175’ to the scene.

“In moderate to rough seas the lifeboat made good speed towards the reported position. Helicopter R-175 arrived a little before the lifeboat and reported what looked like broken mooring lines and a locked wheelhouse. R-175 also reported that it was too risky to lower a person onto the boat for further investigation.”

Swanage lifeboat goes to investigate commercial vessel
Swanage RNLI

Safest option

When the lifeboat crew arrived at the scene, they considered towing it. However, they ruled it out as there was no immediate danger to life.

Crews also considered illuminating or marking the boat to reveal it as a hazard, but decided that the “benefits did not out-weigh risks.”

After considering the situation, it was decided that the best option was to record the boat’s position and the way it was drifting and return to shore.

Share this story

Contact us

Do you have anything to add to this story?

We like to keep everything up-to-date, so if you know more, please help us by getting in touch.

Advertisement 

Top stories

Three weeks of roadworks to begin in Corfe Castle Just in time for the new school term, a three-week lane closure on the A351 at Corfe Castle begins on Monday 15th April 2024. 1 month ago More Purbeck visitors urged to take trip to Brownsea 2 months ago Heritage loco derails during Swanage Railway diesel gala 1 week ago Swanage nightclub transforms into top new venue 2 months ago Open invitation to explore one of Swanage’s best kept secrets 4 weeks ago

Most recent

Swanage’s king of darts makes his debut for England A man from Swanage has become only the third person from Dorset to play darts for England and is now hoping to take his game a step further. 11 hours ago Stoborough residents lucky to escape lightning strike fire 1 day ago TV’s Time Team reveal results of Wytch Farm dig 2 days ago New sanctuary garden officially opened in Swanage 3 days ago Purbeck’s first shuffleboard tournament to raise funds for skatepark 4 days ago