Charity, Latest News, Poole | Posted: Wednesday, August 26th, 2020 at 10:25 am | return to news

Yachts breaks loose in Poole Harbour during Storm Francis

With a south-westerly gusting strongly on 25 August as Storm Francis hit Poole Harbour the inevitable happened: two yachts broke away from their moorings and a dinghy capsized.

Poole Lifeboat Station
Poole Lifeboat Station

The D Class lifeboat was tasked first at 3.30pm by UK Coastguard to a report of a capsized dinghy with two people in the water near North Haven Yacht Club.

When the lifeboat arrived, the situation was found to be under control and the people were ashore. They had swum out to recover the dinghy, which had capsized on its mooring, so it was a call with good intent.

Twenty minutes later, the Atlantic lifeboat was launched following a report of a 36-foot yacht drifting into the Channel Islands ferry, Condor Liberation, that was alongside the Ro-Ro. It was thought the yacht had broken free from its mooring.

The lifeboat crew located it against the wall in between Condor and a jack-up-barge.

Conditions were rough with waves bouncing up off the wall and the south-westerly gusting 6-8 relentlessly.

The lifeboat manoeuvred to the sheltered side of the Ro-Ro terminal, where a crew member was put ashore to fix a heaving line. The yacht was towed off the wall and taken to a mooring in the nearby Port of Poole Marina.

It was evident that the vessel had broken away from its mooring as there was a broken shackle on the bow and the yacht was locked up with no evidence of anyone being on board.

A short while after returning to the lifeboat station, the Atlantic was requested to launch again at 7pm. This time to a 23-foot yacht that had broken free from its mooring and was being battered by the south-westerly winds. It was to the west of Condor Liberation alongside one of Jenkins Marine barges.

The lifeboat went alongside and managed to get a rope on to tow the yacht clear. The vessel had sustained extensive damage and was also taken to the Port of Poole where it was moored alongside the other casualty vessel.

Volunteer Helm Jonathan Clark said, “Conditions out there were lively; the condition of the vessels would have been a lot worse, if they had been left any longer; pounding against the wall and barge. We would advise all boat owners, when it’s safe to do so, to check their moorings, make sure that their mooring lines, ropes and chains are in good condition and of adequate size, for your vessel.

The lifeboat returned to the station and was made ready for service by 9pm.

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