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Yacht hits Sandbanks Ferry just days after it reopened

RNLI Poole lifeboats and Coastguard were deployed to reports of a yacht pinned against the Sandbanks Ferry on Sunday afternoon.

The 24ft shrimper became entangled with the ferry on its way through the harbour entrance, while heading for Sandbanks.

Ferry workers quickly helped the two people that were onboard the boat to get onto the ferry. When the lifeboat Atlantic arrived, both were safely on the ferry.

Both lifeboats launched just after 3.30pm Sunday, 21 June to a report that a 24ft yacht was pinned against the chain ferry

The 24ft Shrimper, which had two people on board, had become entangled with the chain ferry on the inside of the harbour entrance as the ferry was heading to the North Haven side (Sandbanks side).

Conditions in the harbour were choppy with a strong ebb tide and a fresh south westerly wind.

The combination of the tide and the wind hampered any chance of the vessel getting free. When the Atlantic launched, it was confirmed that one person was on the chain ferry and another was unaccounted for, but as the lifeboat arrived on scene, both had been accounted for and were safe a well onboard the chain ferry.

The vessel was hung up on the side of the ferry, with the staves of the mast snagged onto the ramp and the tide pushing it against the prow.

The lifeboat approached to have a closer look to assess the situation and to make sure that everyone was accounted for and not on the vessel.

The chain ferry was stationery as the lifeboat crew put a plan into place to recover the vessel.

A tow rope was established to pull the stricken vessel clear. The Atlantic took the tow under load and maneuvered until it became free from the ramp and ferry and towed the vessel back to the steps at North Haven.

Meanwhile, the chain ferry resumed back to the Sandbanks side and the D Class crew went to check that everyone onboard was okay with a member of the lifeboat crew going ashore to meet the ferry as it came in.

The Atlantic prepared to tow the vessel back to its mooring, the crew checked the vessel was seaworthy it seemed unscathed bar a bit of superficial damage.

They took the vessel back to its mooring just off Brownsea Castle, where the crew secured it and the casualties were happy to make their own way back via their tender.

Both lifeboats returned to station after a thorough clean and refuelling and were ready for service again by 5pm.

Volunteer Helm Jonathan Clark said: ‘The conditions played a part in the incident today, with a strong ebb tide and a gusting south westerly wind, it really did not help the situation. The elements can be unforgiving’.

RNLI Poole Lifeboat Station
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