The lifeboats were swiftly on scene and found a 30ft yacht with two people on-board trapped against the chain ferry on the seaward side.
There was a spring tide that was flooding, this was pinning the yacht alongside, the lifeboat found the yacht crashing against the Bramble Bush Bay, the Chain Ferry which runs on chains across the entrance of the harbour, the fierce tide was relentless.
Poole lifeboat, Sgt Bob Martin (Civil Service No. 50) was first on scene and assessed the situation and it was decided to get the vessel off the Chain ferry before any serious damage was done, the lifeboat manoeuvred close enough to the yacht to connect a towline, the people on board the yacht prepared themselves as the lifeboat took the strain, the boat was banging and crashing hard against the Chain Ferry’s steel hull as the lifeboat crew pulled the stricken yacht clear off the Ferry, the inshore lifeboat was stood by ready if needed.
The lifeboat pulled the yacht alongside and clear of the Chain Ferry, one of the lifeboat crew was transferred across to check that the two people on board were okay and that the yacht had not suffered any serious damage or ingress, all checked out okay and the two people on board although shaken, were okay to proceed under their own power and headed back into Poole Harbour.
Both boats returned back to station and after refuelling were ready for service by 7.30pm.
Volunteer helm Jonathan Clark said;
‘This was a difficult job, in challenging conditions, the spring tide was at its peak. It was a similar scenario that happened in 2001 on the other side of the Chain Ferry when the yacht disappeared underneath with one person in it. The sea is unpredictable and it’s a notorious bottle neck in the harbour which has caught many experienced seafarers out, thankfully it was a good outcome’.
Paul Glatzel Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager commented
‘What looks a straightforward rescue was in fact an incredibly challenging and skillful rescue by the Helm and Crew of the Poole Lifeboats, we are delighted that all involved are safe and well’