Destroyed fishing boat found drifting along Bournemouth coastline

Following the rescue of a fisherman in the early hours of yesterday morning, his sunk fishing boat has now been recovered by Swanage Lifeboat crew after drifting through the sea for more than 14 hours – revealing the full extent of the damage it suffered.

The trawler was lost after it hit an object near Anvil Point in the early hours of the morning on Monday 22nd September 2020, leading to an emergency call out at around 2 am.

Partially submerged fishing trawler
Swanage Lifeboat Station

The boat itself was nowhere to be found

Fortunately, the fisherman, who was wearing a lifejacket, was safely pulled from the waves and while he was cold, he was otherwise uninjured – but the boat itself was nowhere to be found.

However at 4 pm, the Swanage all-weather lifeboat was launched again when a passing boat spotted what was initially described in the report as a “partially submerged yacht” some five nautical miles south of Hengistbury Head.

Swanage Lifeboat recovers fishing trawler
Swanage Lifeboat Station

The boat drifted along the coastline towards Christchurch

In its callout report, Swanage RNLI said:

“The vessel was found drifting quite rapidly back towards Swanage, only about 18 inches of the bow was above the water.

“The suspicion was that this vessel was the fishing boat from this morning’s incident, which was now a significant hazard to shipping.”

This would suggest that – since the boat went down near Anvil Point – it had drifted across the mouth of Poole Harbour and was now closer to Christchurch.

A tug tows the  fishing trawler back to Poole Harbour
Swanage Lifeboat Station

The fishing trawler is towed towards Poole Harbour

The rescue and the full extent of the damage

The lifeboat crew managed to attach a tow to the vessel and bring it slightly further towards the surface, which helped to confirm the identity of the fishing boat.

They were then forced to consider how best to get the damaged boat safely out of the water.

The report explained:

“Various options were then discussed, and a plan made to attempt to hand the vessel over to a barge from Poole Harbour.

“A rendezvous was plotted close to Hook Sands in shallow water and several attempts were made by the barge to connect to the stricken fishing boat and crane it clear of the water.”

This strategy was successful, and as the boat was lifted out of the water, the shocking level of damage that the boat suffered was visible.

More on this story

Fisherman saved after his trawler sinks without trace off Anvil Point – read the story

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