Poole lifeboat crew were out on exercise this morning on the Atlantic Sgt Bob Martin, training at veering off Old Harry when at 12.20pm they received a DSC alert, which a Digital Select calling alert.
This is a system on VHF radio’s which can be used to set off a ‘Mayday’ alert, which the Coastguard and all vessels will receive, when the alert came through, the Lifeboat crew received a partial position of the casualty. In this instance the lifeboat was in the vicinity, the lat and long gave a 1 mile by 1 mile search area in Durlston Bay area.
The Coastguard tasked the lifeboat crew, who spoke to boat owners and vessels in the area and then begin a shoreline search along Durlston to Anvil point and then in Swanage Bay up to Ballard Down and around to Studland the positioning given from the signal gave a search area but nothing untoward was found at that time.
Meanwhile, the Coastguard contacted the person that the VHF radio was registered with and was able to give the lifeboat crew more information, they were looking for kayakers, a group of 4 that had set off to do some kayaking in the Purbecks.
The crew located a group of 6 kayakers and armed with the name of the person whose VHF radio ad set the alarm off they went and investigated.
It turned out that the person had set the alarm off by accident as they were switching the radio off, everyone in the party was safe and well, meanwhile the coastguard contacted the person back at home to reassure them, that all was safe and well.
The lifeboat headed back to the station at 13.15 they dropped off ‘Stirling’ as he was attending the wedding of crewman Chris Speers who was marrying Becky at The Guildhall and as in all Lifeboat wedding tradition, Stirling along with other crew were ‘raising the oars.’
The lifeboat refuelled and was ready for service just before 2pm.
Volunteer Helm James Kilburn said;
‘All’s well that ends well and it was actually a good training session for the crew as it demonstrated how modern technology is making search and rescue much more efficient, as long as the equipment is working correctly and registered. Plus we got Stirling to the wedding on time ’.