Thursday, 22 January 2009

Military MAYDAY

Our patch is an area where there is plenty of military activity.

To the North is Poole harbour home to 1 Assault Group Royal Marines and 148 (Meiktila) Forward Observation Battery Royal Artillery, these two essentially fulfill the 'Per Mare' part of the Royal Marine's motto.

To the East is the Solent, home to Marchwood Sea Mounting Centre, the only military port in the UK. A bit further East is Portsmouth, spiritual home to the Royal Navy.

To the West are the MOD Lulworth ranges both on land and sea where live firing exercises are conducted throughout the year.

And yet despite this activity we seldom have much to do with these fine people. By their very nature they are self-sufficient and able to deal with emergencies in their own way using their own resources. Sometimes they have been know to assist us in searches and other rescue situations.

So it was a pleasure yesterday to be able to assist a landing craft from Marchwood in difficulties off St Alban's Head. During the middle of the afternoon the bow ramp on the Landing Craft began to leave. This grew worse to the point where the crew sent out a MAYDAY asking for immediate assistance. First on the scene was Rescue 106 which airlifted 2 of the crew to hospital to be checked over.

By the time that the Swanage lifeboat had arrived the range safety boat from the Lulworth range had taken the stricken vessel in tow stern first to try to step the ingress of water.

Once on scene the Swanage lifeboat passed across the salvage pump and began to deal with the water as best as possible. In due course engineers from HM Warship Sutherland that was also in the area made temporary repairs to the bow ramp. Once this was done the landing craft's Coxswain was happy to head to Poole under his own power. The lifeboat escorted them down the Swash Channel where Poole lifeboat took over the escort duties. The lifeboats were then released to return to station.

The MCA's news report is here


Anonymous said...

Is that Poole's 'Men in Black' that you've fished out there?

lifeboatjohn said...

No, these guys were from 17 Port and Maritime Regiment RLC - Marchwood.

The lot from Poole would have swum home towing the Landing Craft on the end of a bootlace clamped between their teeth...and enjoyed it!

Anonymous said...

Another daring escort form Poole Lifeboat!! Did you escort them also to the chain ferry!