2011 Busiest Year For Swanage Lifeboats?

The Swanage lifeboat service thinks 2011 could be its busiest year on record..

Just on the weekend of the 15th/16th of October, they were called out to several emergenices along the Dorset coast..

On Sunday morning (16th) both Swanage lifeboats were tasked to an injured jet skier, hurt after hitting the Condor ferry's wake at speed.

The inshore lifeboat launched quickly, concerned as the skier was reported as still being in the water and unable to move, and made best speed towards the group of three jet skis who the casualty was with.

The all-weather lifeboat launched four minutes later. On arrival, the ILB found the skier on his craft, but in considerable pain from an ankle injury.

He was transferred carefully to the ILB where his dry suit foot was cut away to allow assessment of the injury.

When the ALB arrived the crew were able to administer Entonox to help keep the casualty comfortable and he was transferred to the bigger ALB for a more comfortable ride to an awaiting ambulance at North Haven jetty.

The jet ski was taken to Sandbanks beach by lifeboat crewman Darren Tomes, and the casualty's companions were then able to arrange for its recovery.

On Sunday afternoon Swanage's inshore lifeboat was in action for the second time when a request was received to recover of a dog at the bottom of the cliff as people above were approaching the dangerous cliff edge.

The dog had been spotted by the crew of a local pleasure trip boat between Blacker's Hole and Dancing Ledge. It seemed to be fit and well but was stranded and barking to get attention.

The inshore lifeboat arrived on scene and spotted the dog amongst the rocks at the base of the cliff.

A volunteer crewmember was put ashore to recover the dog.

Although wagging his tail and keen to see the crewmember, the dog was stranded on a large rock and reluctant to leave its precarious position.

Fortunately the lifeboat crewmember, Becky Mack, was able to clamber over the rocks to its location collecting the dog under her arm and making her way to the awaiting lifeboat.

Once all were safely aboard the lifeboat the Coastguard were informed that the dog had been recovered and the lifeboat and its casualty proceeded back to the lifeboat station.

The Coastguard made enquiries to identify the owner and were later informed that one of the Swanage Coastguard had found a sign posted of a missing dog near where he had been found.

The owners where shocked to hear their dog, Ben, had been recovered by a lifeboat but relieved to find him safe and well, albeit very hungry and thirsty after his ordeal.

It turned out that Ben had gone over the cliff at about 9.30am in the morning and his owner had been scouring the area ever since.

After an unusually busy weekend Swanage lifeboat received another callout on Monday evening for a medical evacuation of an injured sailor.

The sailor had fallen earlier during his passage but after lying down to rest, his ribs and surrounding area had become so painful he was having difficulty moving.

With a risk of potential internal injures the yacht was advised to head to the nearest safe haven, this being Swanage, where a lifeboat would be on route to meet them.

A number of volunteer crew were already at the Swanage lifeboat station performing the weekly volunteer mechanics' training and, within a few minutes of the pager sounding, the rest of the crew arrived.

The lifeboat made the short trip in the darkness to the yacht, assessed the casualty and transferred him to a stretcher before putting him aboard the lifeboat.

Once on the lifeboat he was swiftly taken to lifeboat station, transferred to the waiting lifeboat crew at the boathouse and passed on to the awaiting ambulance paramedics.