Dorset Police marine officers, out on patrol in Poole Harbour, had to be urgently diverted to help four paddle boarders that were heading into the shipping lane and the path of a Condor ferry.
From the Studland shoreline, Swanage Coastguard saw the danger and requested immediate assistance to get the four to safety.
The Condor ferry and the police boats that rescued the paddle boarders in the nick of time
“Less than a minute before the commercial vessel passed”
The incident happened on Saturday 23rd July 2022, while Dorset Police’s marine section, in conjunction with other agencies, was undertaking an operation to reduce incidents of anti-social behaviour in and around Poole Harbour.
Swanage Coastguard reported:
“During the patrol, the coastguard team spotted four paddle boarders in Shell Bay trying to get back to shore in a strong offshore breeze.
“With several commercial vessels leaving the harbour, the four were drifting back towards the shipping lanes and potential danger.
“Both Dorset Police marine section vessels returning to port were immediately requested to attend to provide assistance and get the four out of danger.
“The last person and board were recovered on to the police boat less than a minute before the commercial vessel passed.”
Swanage Coastguard spotted the danger from Studland and alerted the police boats, who were in the area as part of Operation Seagoing, aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour on the water
“Potentially life-threatening incident”
The four were brought ashore and met by the coastguard team to ensure they were safe and to be given some safety advice. They were also advised on what safety equipment they should take with them next time.
Sergeant Ryan Prater, of the Dorset Police marine force support group said:
“We’d like to thank HM Coastguard officers who were working with our marine engagement team at the time for alerting us to this potentially life-threatening incident.
“Before heading out on the water, you should be aware of the current and expected changes in buoyage, tides, sea and weather conditions.”
On the same day in Studland, Swanage Coastguard also dealt with a medical incident at South Beach, four inflatable kayakers monitored off Knoll Beach and assisted another kayaker at Shell Bay.