POOLE lifeboat marked its 5000th shout last night by helping with a fire in Holes Bay.

The station’s record goes back to 1865 and at around 10.30pm on Sunday night there were reports of a fire on Pergin’s Island.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service later confirmed that it was an area of gorse alight.

The alarm was raised as smoke was seen rising from the small island, which is at the top of Holes Bay.

The Inshore lifeboat took the station’s ‘X’ boat – an inflatable dinghy – and headed to the western black bridge, near to Cobbs Quay.

As high tide was at midnight the inshore lifeboat could not pass through the bridge, so the ‘X’ boat was deployed, two volunteer crew rowed through to the island before landing ashore.

They then began a sweep of the area, communicating with the inshore lifeboat as to what they had found.

Further volunteers launched the station’s boarding boat and brought a mobile pump. Other volunteers commandeered a ‘D’ class lifeboat from the Lifeboat College and dory.

Portland Coastguard had requested that the fire brigade respond and they worked with the lifeboat crew at the Lifeboat College slipway.

Three firemen and equipment were transferred on to a lifeboat with volunteer crew and a further two fire officers boarded the dory with a lifeboat man.

The lifeboat crew searching Pergin’s island reported back that there were no people, but there was a fire.

When the Fire brigade were happy that the fire had been put out, the lifeboat crews brought them and their equipment back safely ashore.

The volunteers returned back to station just before midnight.

Poole is the first all-weather lifeboat station to achieve the landmark 5000th.

Poole Lifeboat volunteer Anne-Marie Clark said: “Whatever the number of shouts, it’s always business as usual, 5000 is a huge number, what’s really humbling is when you think of the number of people, then their families, whom we have touched, reunited or helped in some small way.

“We think back to the courageous crews that have gone before us, who contributed to this historic achievement and shared our selfless commitment and we reflect on the present volunteers, especially on days like today, we also look forward.

“Next year is another milestone, when Poole Lifeboat station is 150 years old, please keep supporting us, as we are a charity and rely on the support and donations to keep afloat, we would prefer not to notch up another few thousand ‘shouts’ as we want people to stay safe.”