Monday, 23 July 2007

It could get to be a busy day.

I've just received the details of the ILB launch earlier today. From the website:

The second shout of the day came when Portland Coastguard received a '999' phone call from a member of the public concerned for the safety of the crew of a small yacht close inshore at the southern end of the main beach, Swanage. Waves were breaking over the bow of the yacht and the crew seemed to be struggling with their situation. The Inshore Lifeboat crew were paged and the Lifeboat was afloat 5 minutes later. Once on scene 2 Lifeboat crew were put aboard the yacht, a towline connected and the anchor recovered. The yacht was then towed into deeper water and finally secured to the Lifeboat mooring. The yacht's crew were then brought ashore to dry off and warm up. The Lifeboat crew then returned to the main beach to see if they could recover the swamped tender. Unfortunately it was badly holed so it was carried up the beach and recovered by road. It transpired that the yacht's tiller had broken and it was this, along with a fouled propeller that had caused their problems.

Swanage Bay is open to the East, so whilst it is a comfortable anchorage most of the time, it can become a lee shore and catch out the unfortunate. Most commonly, boats break free from moorings or drag their anchors all by themselves. Less often those vessels have people aboard and the situation is a little more serious. The ILB is well equipped for these situations, shallow draft, very manoeuvrable and punchy enough to drive through the surf. What it lacks, though, is pulling power (like many of the crew :) so often the Mersey needs to be involved to provide the necessary muscle. Sounds like Chad, Tom, Deasy and OC managed well enough today though.

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