Two young people rescued from the water off Studland Bay at 4am after boat capsizes

Two young people narrowly avoided drowning off the South Coast after taking off from a beach in a dinghy early on Sunday morning.

A group of three friends – all from Dorset – had taken the Sandbanks ferry from Sandbanks, Poole, to Studland beach earlier in the evening carrying clothing, pillows and windbreaks, according to Coastguards.

At about 0300, one of the friends – a female from Wimborne – phoned the Coastguard from Studland beach to report the other two – a male aged 20 from Verwood and female, 18, from Horton – missing in a dinghy. She reported that they had set off together around 40 minutes earlier with no means of propulsion. Conditions were described as ‘benign’ although the water temperature was just 11°C and according the the MCA: ‘It was clear through the conversations that took place that all three young people had clearly been drinking heavily.’

The MCA report continued: Shortly thereafter another call came in to the Coastguard from an entirely unconnected group of young people, also on the beach but further away who identified they could hear shouting coming from seaward side. Using that information and searching in the area at around 4.00 am this morning, both missing individuals were found in the water, with one clinging to a buoy. Seemingly the dinghy had capsized and sank, pitching them both into the 11 degree Celsius water.

‘An ambulance was called and both people were brought ashore in a poor state with the girl slipping in and out of consciousness and taken to hospital. A Police unit also attended the scene.’

Bruce Lack, Watch Manager at Portland Coastguard said:

‘Drink and stupidity played major parts in this incident with the two young people in serious danger of losing their lives as a result. From taking a boat with no oars to having no lifejackets or means of communication in the darkness in open sea is sheer madness fuelled by drink and bravado.’