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Poole lifeboats rescue rudderless yacht and search for missing kayaker

Poole lifeboats were launched to attend two very different incidents in two days as the winds freshened creating difficult conditions.

Kayakers rescued after taking respite on Brownsea Island
Kayakers rescued after taking respite on Brownsea Island

The first involved towing a rudderless 18-foot mini trans-Atlantic race yacht to safety on 25 September. The stricken vessel with three people onboard was about four miles south of the harbour entrance. Fresh north westerly winds were blowing Force 5-6 and in bumpy conditions, the lifeboat took over the tow from a passing yacht that had responded to the original call for help. The rudderless yacht was successfully towed to Poole Quay Boat Haven where Poole Coastguard rescue team were on hand to meet them.

The following day, both lifeboats were requested to launch at 3.10pm to search for a missing kayaker.

Earlier, four kayakers had been out on the water in the harbour. As they attempted to make their way back to Baiter struggling against blustery winds gusting from the north west, they had become cold and stopped for respite on Brownsea Island. One of the group carried on, but when the remaining kayakers lost sight of the fourth, they dialled 999 and asked for the coastguard.

The Atlantic, proceeded to Brownsea and located the kayakers who were on the north side beach, they were wet and cold and were transferred off Brownsea and taken to Baiter with their kayaks. Meanwhile the D class searched for the missing kayaker and Poole Coastguard Search and Rescue team were requested to conduct searches ashore.

As the Atlantic crew arrived at Baiter, they found an orange kayak on the shore, which was identified as the missing one and then shortly afterwards, the absent kayaker turned up safe and well.

The lifeboats were sanitised and made ready for service by 5pm.

Poole Lifeboat volunteer helm Jonathan Clark said, “Conditions were very choppy out in the harbour and challenging. The kayakers did the right thing calling 999 to ask for help. If you are at all in doubt, it is always better to be safe than sorry, as conditions can change very quickly.”

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