A busy afternoon for Poole lifeboat volunteers responding to ‘Pan-Pan’s’
Poole Lifeboat was tasked by UK Coastguard at 12.50pm to respond to a ‘Pan-Pan’ message.
A Pan-Pan is the international urgency signal that is used as a preface to a VHF transmission when the safety of a person or the boat is in serious jeopardy but no immediate danger exists, but it could escalate into a mayday situation.
The Pan-Pan was raised by a 19ft Cornish Shrimper with one person on-board who had ran aground in the shallow area of the harbour half way between Furzey Island and Round Island. When the lifeboat arrived on scene, the volunteers could see the reeds near to stricken vessel, it was very shallow, a crewman entered the water and waded across to check that the person was okay, the lifeboat nudged nearer but the depth of the water prevented it from getting in any closer so the Helm requested that the D class be launched at 1.15pm for back up and to assist in either evacuating the person or taking the towline to the vessel as the D class has much less draught. Conditions in the back of the islands were calm with a south westerly 3 to 4 breeze.
As it was high water, whilst waiting the crewman in the water waded back out with a tow line to give it one go, the water was at waist height as the crewman passed the tow line and it was attached to the stern of the vessel, the lifeboat gently engaged the tow and eased the vessel free into deeper water as the D class was standing by.
As the Cornish Shrimper was none the worse for its adventure, it continued on with its afternoon sail so both lifeboats returned back to station as they were heading up between the bridges to refuel, a crackled message came over the airways, and the crew could hear a broken communication that was another ‘Pan-Pan’.
The crew radioed the UK Coastguard to ask if they wanted the lifeboat to investigate to which the Coastguard confirmed that they did, the D class returned to station.
As the lifeboat turned around and headed back out between the Quays information came through that there was a rib with one person on-board which had broken down, the casualty had put his anchor down and he was at the end of the East Looe Channel, which is the channel that runs from the entrance of the Harbour along Sandbanks.
The Lifeboat soon arrived on scene and transferred a crewman on-board, to check that the person was okay, which he was, a tow line was attached, the anchor was retrieved and the lifeboat brought the rib back to Poole Quay Boat Haven.
After refuelling the lifeboat was ready for service at 4pm.
This is the 80th shout so far for the busy Poole lifeboat station, and with the fair weather set to continue for a while yet and ta bank holiday ahead, it is inevitable that people will head down to Poole and enjoy the water and have fun at the beaches.
We want everyone to stay safe and enjoy the beautiful coastline but we would like to ask all water users to check the weather and tide conditions and make sure that your equipment is all in working order. Carry a means of calling for help should something go wrong; know your capabilities and make sure you wear the necessary safety equipment, let someone know where you are heading and when you expect to be back. If you are on the beach, look for the RNLI flags and swim with in your limits and if you see someone in trouble, please alert the lifeguards or call 999 and ask for the Coastguard, do not enter the water yourself. Sometimes you may find yourself in the water, fallen overboard or off a groin or cliff, fight your instinct to swim, pause, and float on your back until you are able to catch your breath as doing so may save your life.