Saturday, 25 April 2009

One of life's little inconveniences

So, this morning I was helping some farming friends out transporting something in the region of fifty chickens from their farm to a farmer's market. Just as I was pulling out of their drive our pagers went off. So I quickly called them and let them know that they could find said chickens in the car down at the boat-park and to help themselves. I meanwhile jumped on the boat and headed out to sea.

Little more than 15 minutes later we came alongside the casualty, a newly purchased commercial fishing vessel, which had issued a Mayday due to engine failure and the strong tidal conditions off St Aldhelm's head. Both of the crew members onboard were OK so we decided to leave them where they were and place a crewmember of ours aboard to assist with rigging the tow and steering. Steve gallantly volunteered to do the heroics and quickly got things rigged on the heavily rolling vessel.

As the tow progressed towards Swanage, Dave, today's navigator, called Portland Coastguard and requested an updated weather forecast. As suspected this was promising a Force 4 South-Easterly wind which would have left the casualty rather exposed on our mooring. Consequently, Martin made the sensible decision to continue the tow up to Poole where we could guarantee the security of the casualty vessel.

Once at the Town Quay in Poole the vessel was rapidly secured alongside with the assistance of the local Coastguards. We then returned home (minus Paul E who elected to remain in Poole so that he could join his partner for some light shopping).

By about 12.30 we were back in the boathouse and ready for further duties. Textbook stuff.

And of the course the chicken was collected and delivered to the market where it all sold I hope.

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