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Boats lost in Swanage Bay after wild weather
9:41am Tuesday 25th September 2012 in News
AT least a dozen boats were lost in Swanage Bay after strong winds, rising seas and rogue waves battered the town.
Sunday’s high tide, driving rain and unusual easterly winds combined to create potentially deadly conditions.
Coastguards dealt with incidents including:
- A large speedboat washed over the beach onto the parade near the Square.
- Two vessels wedged under the channel near the Mowlem Theatre.
- Scores of onlookers dicing with disaster by trying to clamber over washed-up vessels or simply getting too close to the waves.
Swanage Coastguard station officer Ian Brown warned: “There were young children on the beach and it only takes one rogue wave and they could have been swept out.
“There were huge waves coming over the stone quay that could easily have knocked someone off their feet into the water. The lifeboat would struggle in those conditions.”
Mr Brown confirmed at least 12 boats, mainly tenders, were lost.
He added: “There may be even more as some could have sunk on their moorings.”
Some onlookers even tried to claim salvage rights on the vessels being washed up.
“You can only claim salvage if a vessel has been abandoned,” stressed Mr Brown.
“Not if it has simply broken its moorings.”