Flare caught attention of rescue services as fire spread quickly

A Coastguard spokesman praised the crew of Feeling Woosley 2 for being ‘prepared for the unexpected’ after the boat caught fire in Studland Bay, near Poole yesterday afternoon.

Portland watch manager Andy Jenkins said: ‘The situation could have been very serious as the speedboat had 60 gallons of petrol on board. Because they had prepared for the unexpected, the crew of the Feeling Woosley 2 could evacuate to the water and could summon assistance with a distress flare within seconds.’

Rescue services were alerted to the problems on board Feeling Woosley 2 after a member of the RNLI spotted a red distress flare and alerted the Portland Coastguard.

Six members of the group were rescued from the water after they jumped overboard to escape the fire, while a further two were rescued from the vessel.

The speedboat was towed back to shore where it was met by Dorset Fire and Rescue Service and Poole Coastguard. The fire was thought to be electrical and the boat was also reportedly found to have exhaust problems.

‘Even if you’re just going for a trip around the bay you need to be prepared,’ continued Andy Jenkins. ‘We recommend that you get trained, keep in touch, watch the weather and tides, wear a lifejacket and avoid alcohol.’