Impatient sailor’s yacht is nearly sucked UNDERNEATH car ferry as shocked tourists look on
- Seaman, in his 70s, had tried to beat the Sandbanks chain ferry in Poole Harbour
- Instead it got pulled by the tide and swept into the vortex of swirling water
- Fiasco lasted around half-an-hour until a diving catamaran arrived on the scene
This is the terrifying moment an impatient sailor’s yacht is nearly sucked underneath a car ferry while tourists watch on in horror.
The seaman, aged in his 70s, had tried to beat the Sandbanks chain ferry service in Poole Harbour by steering his 30ft sailboat in front of it.
But it instead got pulled by the tide and swept into the vortex of swirling water produced by the much larger vessel.
Ferry passengers and tourists on the quayside watched in horror as the yacht became pinned up against the side of the 240ft long ferry and almost dragged under it.
The pensioner had to climb on to the ferry due to the risk of his yacht going down.
The seaman, aged in his 70s, had tried to beat the Sandbanks chain ferry service in Poole Harbour by steering his 30ft sailboat in front of it
A passing RIB then tried to rescue the sailor, only to get stuck as well.
The fiasco lasted around half-an-hour until a diving catamaran arrived on the scene and threw a rope towards the din-gy and towed it to safety.
The crew then returned and pulled the yacht clear of the ferry.
Andrzej Bubez, an IT engineer, was one of the foot passengers whose crossing on the ferry was delayed by the drama.
He said: ‘The tide was coming in fast – the flow of it there is just unbelievable. The sailor tried to outrun the ferry and it sounded its horn to warn him.
‘It was blaring constantly. At that point he tried to go around the aft of the ferry but it was too late. He collided with the ferry. If he’d have started to go under it could have been even worse.
‘A passing RIB tried to help only to succumb to the tide which pinned him to the ferry.
‘A big diving catamaran then threw them a rope and luckily had the power to pull them out.’
The fiasco lasted around half-an-hour until a diving catamaran arrived on the scene and threw a rope towards the din-gy and towed it to safety
A spokesman for the Swanage Motor Road and Ferry Company, which operates the ferry, added: ‘It looks like the skip-per was inexperienced and did not understand the conditions and tried to race the ferry to get ahead of it and changed his mind at the last minute.
‘Thankfully everybody went home but it could have been worse – this is something which happens every season. We are just relieved that nobody was hurt and the service was able to resume after 20 minutes.’
Trever Small was at the helm of the ‘Rocket’ catamaran taking divers out to the harbour when the collision occurred.
He said: ‘We were on our way out when the boat collided with the ferry. It was life threatening – he could have been pulled under.
‘There was nobody else on the scene so we had to help. Luckily my boat is quite powerful – it has 90hp.
‘The tide was pushing him into the ferry so we had to get him off – I threw him the tow line then the ferry lowered a ladder to bring him onboard.
‘I wasn’t going to tow the boat with him on board – there was a chance it could have capsized and he’d have got sucked under’.
Poole RNLI arrived at the scene after the rescue and retrieved the boat before returning it to its owner.
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