Casualty rescued by neighbouring yachtsman off Dorset coast

Rescue services were called to Studland Bay on Saturday night to assist a man who had spent over 40 minutes in the water in thick fog.

The man had returned to his vessel in a tender at around 10pm and fallen overboard trying to climb aboard his yacht. He was rescued by a member of the public aboard another yacht who heard cries for help and launched his RIB to assist.

Further incident at Poole Quay
The RNLI team that transported the man from Studland Bay back to Poole Quay, where an ambulance awaited, were then called to deal with another man in the water, who appeared to have been drinking heavily.

Anne-Marie Clark, Poole Lifeboat Press Officer described the ensuing events:

‘Volunteer ILB helmsman Gavin McGuinness, who was the busiest crewman in 2007, had returned to the station from the previous shout. He was with Lifeboat Operations Manager Rod Brown walking down the quay to meet the ALB and (another) stricken yacht, when they heard a splash.

Gavin turned round to see a man face down in the quay. He grabbed one of the lifebuoy rings that are located along the quay and threw it to the man. There was no reaction and at first they feared the worst. They threw it again and the man then partially responded. They threw it again and he put a hand out to hold the ring, but his face was still immersed in the water. It was becoming apparent that the man was worse for wear and not very responsive.

Gavin and Rod pulled the lifebuoy and man towards the Fish Shambles steps. Gavin then waded in to grab him as there was a 2-knot ebb tide and he could see he was beginning to drift away into the gloomy murky fog. Gavin lunged towards him and grabbed him and with Rod’s help they hurled him out of the water and up the steps. An ambulance had arrived on scene and rushed the man off to Poole hospital.’