Latest launch information:31st December 2017
At just after 6pm on New Year’s eve UK Coastguard paged Swanage Lifeboat’s Operations Manager (LOM) to inform him of a situation developing South of Lulworth. An 81m cargo ship with 7 POB had lost power and was drifting at around 4kts on a course of about 060 degs. A tug from Poole Harbour had been tasked to assist along with Weymouth Lifeboat. The ship was around 5Nm offshore but was getting ever closer to St Albans Head. The LOM informed the Coxswain and proceeded to the lifeboat station to monitor the situation. Around an hour later with the tow still not connected and the ship closer to the shore the decision was taken to page the Swanage crew. A duty crew had been organised to cover the New Year’s eve period and they were soon heading to the scene. Around 30 mins later the Swanage volunteers arrived on scene just West of St Albans Head. The tug’s first attempt to connect a tow had failed and they were getting in position to try again. The ship was now around 2.5Nm South of St Albans Head but now drifting on a course of 080 degs which was keeping it clear of the shore for now. The tug got a line to the ship again but the ship’s crew failed to get the heavy tow line aboard. After about an hour and several more attempts the tug’s towline was finally connected to the ship and they slowly started to head towards Poole Bay. Weymouth lifeboat was stood down to return to station and the Swanage crew were tasked to escort the tug and ship until they reached a safe anchorage. At around 11pm the tug and tow arrived at the anchorage outside of Poole Harbour, speed was reduced and the ship’s anchor dropped. Once UK Coastguard and the other skippers were happy that the ship was secure and not drifting the lifeboat was released to return to Swanage. The lifeboat was back on the slipway at 23:40 but the crew didn’t quite make back home for their New Year’s eve celebrations as the lifeboat had to be washed down, refuelled and restocked ready for the next shout.
- Sea state:Rough
- Launch time:19:28
- Recovery time:23:41
- Casualty:Commercial Vessel
- Location:Drifting South of Kimmeridge
(Coxn) Dave Turnbull
ALB Shore Crew:
(Winch) Ian Langdon
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Swanage Lifeboat Station is one of over 230 RNLI lifeboat stations around the coast of the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The RNLI is a charity and relies on voluntary contributions from the public to keep its lifeboats at sea. At Swanage we have two lifeboats, an All Weather ‘Shannon’ class lifeboat and a ‘D-Class’ inshore lifeboat. We have a volunteer crew comprising 30 sea going crew and four shore crew who launch and recover the boats.
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