With everything thawed out both Poole Lifeboats were out on exercise on Saturday March 3rd.
The crews had launched late afternoon to take the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the channels and shallows of the harbour as it was an unprecedented low tide and after the winter storm a good time to investigate the far reaches, mud flats and shifting sand bars of the harbour.
At around 4.30pm whilst out on exercise, the lifeboat volunteers were tasked by HM Coastguard to a report that an object had been seen in the water, it had been sighted somewhere west of Bournemouth Pier.
As both boats were at the entrance of the harbour, they were tasked to search from Sandbanks up to Bournemouth Pier. As the volunteers commenced a parallel search, the weather conditions were moderate to rough, with the fierce easterly wind biting hard, visibility was reasonably good, the first informant had given information that the object they had seen was orange and black.
The crews scoured the area, looking for something out of the ordinary against an overcast backdrop, the crews working together. As nothing untoward was found the Coastguard stood the crews down and the lifeboats returned back to station just after 5.30pm, after refuelling the lifeboats were ready service after 6.30pm.
Volunteer Helmsman Jonathan Clark said;
‘Low tides like todays give the volunteers the opportunity to experience a very different view of the harbour, bringing the chart to life. With the added tasking, the exercise became very real, even though this time a call with good intent, it was a good experience for us all as it was quite lively out in the bay’.