Press Notice No: 81-12
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Posted 23:02 GMT
SAILING CLUBS HIT BY SQUALL OFF DORSET COAST
Three sailing clubs had their activities disrupted tonight when a passing squall caused their dinghies to either capsize or to be blown off course.
Portland Coastguard received the first call from the rowing boat Isolde at just before 7pm. The boat reported that two dinghies had capsized on either side of Weymouth Harbour. There was a safety boat in the area but the rowing boat was asked to keep watching until the dinghies were safely being towed back to the harbour.
At 7.20pm Swanage Sailing Club contacted Portland Coastguard to report that a Dart catamaran with two crew onboard appeared to be in difficulties in Swanage Bay after the squall. Swanage RNLI Inshore Lifeboat was sent to the scene and Swanage Coastguard Rescue Team went to a vantage point then to the sailing club. When the lifeboat arrived on scene they found that the propeller on the safety boat had been fouled and so the lifeboat towed both the catamaran and safety boat back to Swanage.
Highcliffe Sailing Club raised concern just before 7.45pm for five dinghies to the east of Christchurch Harbour that had been caught in the squall. Mudeford RNLI lifeboat was training in the area and so was asked to go to help the dinghies. The lifeboat took one person from a dinghy and towed the dinghy back to the sailing club while the safety boat accompanied the other four boats back to the sailing club. Here they were met by Southbourne Coastguard Rescue Team.
Maddy Davey Portland Coastguard Watch Manager said;
The forecast is for a complex area of low pressure to bring very unsettled and, at times, windy conditions to all areas which means that the wind can quickly change from benign to gale force. The thundery conditions mentioned in the forecast can also sometimes be preceded by squalls.
Im happy to say that all the sailing clubs had safety boats with them and the crews normally wear lifejackets and buoyancy aids so all the sailors returned home safely. Nevertheless, these vessels were caught out and the unseasonable conditions are a reminder that its important for everyone planning to go sailing to check the weather and tides before you set out, then consider whether your plan should still be implemented or postponed until the conditions are more favourable.
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Posted By: Maggie Hill
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