Night time rescue of yacht by Swanage RNLI

A yacht with no power and taking on water was eventually towed back to Poole Harbour last night, after a six hour rescue by the Swanage Lifeboat crew.

Just before 8 pm on Monday 28th July 2020, the crew were paged to go to the rescue of a 12 metre yacht that had lost all power around 1 nautical miles southwest of St Alban’s Head.

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Swanage lifeboat rescues yacht
ALAN PARMENTER

In search of the stricken yacht

With Swanage’s Shannon all-weather lifeboat currently undergoing maintenance, the temporary replacement Shannon lifeboat was launched and set off in favourable conditions in search of the stricken yacht.

Within 20 minutes the yacht was located and one of the volunteer lifeboat crew boarded the yacht to assist one of the yacht’s crew members to connect a tow rope. The other member of the yacht’s crew was taken safely onto the lifeboat.

With a tow established, the lifeboat started to plot a course back towards Poole and steady progress was made back past St Alban’s Head and the Anvil Point Lighthouse.

Swanage lifeboat rescues yacht
FERGUS HOLLAND

“The yacht was now making water fast”

However the rescue did not go to plan. Swanage Lifeboat Station reported:

“Unfortunately, the volunteer crew member on board and the casualty noticed that the yacht was now making water fast – so, in the shelter of Studland Bay, the yacht was secured alongside the lifeboat and the salvage pump passed across to pump the boat dry.

“Investigation showed the universal joint between the engine and prop had sustained damage, severing a water pipe in the process. The ingress of water was controlled and the lifeboat and casualty arrived at Poole Quay at around 1 am.”

Swanage Lifeboat nightime rescue
Swanage RNLI

Six hours after the initial launch

With the yacht now safely in the harbour, the lifeboat returned to the Swanage Lifeboat Station and was then thoroughly cleaned, re-fuelled and made ready for further service. By then it was 2 am in the morning, six hours after the initial launch.

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