Paddle-boarders rescued from Poole shipping channel moments before ferry sails past

The final person was rescued less than one minute before a cross channel ferry sailed past where the group had been stranded. Credit: Dorset Police

A group of paddle-boarders have been rescued from the Poole shipping channel just seconds before a ferry sailed past.

Dorset Police marine officers were called out to rescue four paddle-boarders in difficulty in the Swash channel which is the main shipping lane in and out of Poole.

Marine Force Support Group officers on the water went to them immediately and pulled them to safety.

The final person was rescued less than one minute before a cross channel ferry sailed past where the group had been stranded.

Officers also went to help a sinking yacht alongside RNLI colleagues, towing the boat back to Poole Harbour at the weekend.

Sergeant Ryan Prater, of the Marine Force Support Group, said: "Before heading out on the water, you should be aware of the current and expected changes in buoyage, tides, sea and weather conditions.”

Operation Seagoing was held on land at Baiter Slipway in Poole and the Weymouth Slipway too. Around 150 jet-ski riders and others going into the water were spoken to.

People were given safety advice and told about local bylaws and speed limits.

Credit: Dorset Police

Police Constable Ali Roberts, Marine Engagement Officer for Dorset Police, said: “Colleagues from BCP Council issued warning letters to two young people for causing anti-social behaviour (ASB) with a motorised dinghy in Mudeford, engaged with twelve boats (four of which were given words of advice), and engaged with fourteen jet skiers.

“Thankfully our presence on the water was noticed and appreciated by Sandbanks council staff and members of the public who said there was a noticeable change in the behaviour of jet skiers with the police presence on the water."

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, David Sidwick, added: “I am pleased to see Op Seagoing taking the fight against ASB beyond the shoreline.

"Residents and visitors should be able to enjoy our county, its shores, and waters without being affected by ASB.

"The issue is that ASB on the water could end in tragedy for those involved and affected.

"We have a spectacular coastline with amazing wildlife and ASB could compromise that too, ruining it for future residents and visitors.

“Cutting ASB is a priority of my Police and Crime Plan, so I would like to thank every police officer, staff member and the many partners involved in this operation for helping ensure that we can all have a safe and fun summer in Dorset.”