Latest News, Poole | Posted: Monday, June 22nd, 2020 at 6:28 pm | return to news

Drama at sea unfolds on Father's Day

Both Poole lifeboats were launched just after 3.30pm on 21 June to a report that a 24-foot yacht was pinned against the chain ferry that carries passengers and vehicles across the entrance to Poole Harbour.

Stricken vessel pinned against the chain ferry © RNLI Poole
Stricken vessel pinned against the chain ferry © RNLI Poole

The Shrimper with two people onboard became entangled with the ferry on the inside of the Poole Harbour entrance as the ferry was heading to North Haven (Sandbanks) side.

Conditions in the harbour were choppy with a strong ebb tide and a fresh south westerly wind, which hampered any chance of the vessel getting free.

When the Atlantic lifeboat arrived on scene, both the Shrimper’s crew were found to be safe and well onboard the chain ferry.

The vessel was hung up on the side of the ferry, with the staves of the mast snagged onto the ramp and the tide pushing it against the prow.

The chain ferry was stationery as the lifeboat crew put a plan into place to recover the vessel and fixed a tow rope. Taking the tow under load, the Atlantic manoeuvred until the Shrimper became free from the ramp and ferry. It was towed to the steps at North Haven.

The chain ferry resumed its journey and a member of the D Class lifeboat went ashore to meet the ferry before the Atlantic towed the Shrimper, which seemed unscathed bar a bit of superficial damaged, back to its mooring just off Brownsea Castle. Once secured, the casualties were happy to make their own way back using their tender.

Both lifeboats returned to station, after a thorough clean and refuelling and were ready for service again by 5pm.

Volunteer helm, Jonathan Clark, said, “The conditions played a part in the incident today, with a strong ebb tide and a gusting south westerly wind, it really did not help the situation. The elements can be unforgiving.”

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