Swanage lifeboat crew search for missing man

Both Swanage lifeboats were launched together to help search for a missing person in the early hours of the morning of Thursday 15th February 2024.

Crew members were scrambled at 1 am after an emergency call reported a person missing in the vicinity of Old Harry.


A night time launch for Swanage’s all weather lifeboat

Low cloud cover restricted search

Both lifeboats were tasked to search slowly from Sheps Hollow, Swanage, around the coastline to South Beach, Studland.

Sea conditions allowed the D class inshore lifeboat to search very close inshore while the all-weather lifeboat used its more powerful searchlights to concentrate on the cliff-line.

A spokesperson for Swanage Lifeboat Station said

“At sea-level, search conditions were good, but very low cloud cover limited the effectiveness of our search lights looking up towards the tops of the cliffs.”


A wash down and refuel for the inshore lifeboat after the late night callout

Missing person found safe and well

Volunteer coastguard teams from Swanage and St Albans were also tasked, with various teams searching Ballard Down.

As the two lifeboats completed their initial searches of South Beach reports were received that the person had been found, safe and well, ashore in Swanage.

When the missing person’s identity had been confirmed, both lifeboats were released to return to the station, arriving back to wash down and refuel before being ready for further service around 2.30 am.

Ready for action at any time and in all weathers

Ready for action at any time and in all weathers

Crew members joined the search

Crew on the all weather lifeboat were Gavin Steeden (Coxswain), Robert Aggas, Steve Williams, John Deas, Roydon Woodford and Alan Parmenter.

The inshore lifeboat crew members were Darren Tomes (Helm), Becky Mack, Phil Palmer and Andy Redout.

Shore crew were Gary Buglass (Head Launcher), Nigel Bower (Winchman), Sam Aggas, Neil Brooks, Ben Bamber and Julian Vass.


The flag at Swanage lifeboat station was flown at half mast


Respects were paid to former lifeboat crew member ‘Cookie’ Bird, pictured left

Flag lowered to half mast

Separately, the flag at Swanage Lifeboat Station was lowered to half mast on Thursday 15th February 2024 in memory of former crew member ‘Cookie’ Bird.

A spokeperson for Swanage Lifeboat Station said:

“We wanted to pay our respects and pass on grateful thanks for the many hours Cookie dedicated to volunteering for the RNLI. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

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