Lifeboat warns against water-skiing without a killcord

Poole’s RNLI inshore lifeboat launched earlier today (August 17) to a report that three teenagers were in the water, having been thrown from their boat. The boat was precariously turning around in circles with no one on board.

The volunteer crew launched and arrived on scene in seven minutes to find the speedboat turning in a tight circle at about 15 knots. They made sure that it was not going to cause any damage to anyone else in the vicinity before establishing where the three boys were.

One of the boys had managed to scramble on some rocks by the cliffs at Old Harry. Portland coastguard tasked the SAR Helicopter 106 and the boy was airlifted off the cliffs and taken to Whitecliffe. A awaiting ambulance took him to hospital where he was treated for cold, shock, cuts and mild abrasions.

A passing yacht had picked another of the boys up, so a search ensued for the third boy. Thankfully he had made it ashore and was safe on the beach with the mobile coastguard unit.

The volunteer lifeboat crew then attended to the teenager who was on the yacht. They checked him over and found him to be okay, albeit shook up, the volunteer crew took him to Studland beach. All boys were wearing buoyancy aids.

The inshore lifeboat returned to attend to the speedboat. With the ski rope still attached, it was hard to stop the boat, but the crew managed it by plying lines to foul the propeller. They towed the boat to Studland beach, before taking the father and teenager’s undertow back to Baiter slipway as by now their speedboat had ran out of fuel.

Volunteer helmsman Dave Riley says: ‘Water skiing without a kill cord can be very dangerous, a kill cord is a vital piece of safety equipment, these guys were very lucky.’