A RACING dinghy and an ice-cream boat dramatically collided with the chain ferry within minutes of each other late on Saturday afternoon.

First two men were rescued after the dinghy struck the Sandbanks – Studland vessel on Saturday evening.

Poole RNLI Inshore Lifeboat was called out to the incident at around 5.12pm.

The vessel Vigilant took the pair off the small racing dinghy and transferred them to the lifeboat.

The men and their dinghy were taken back to Parkstone Marina in Poole Harbour.

Just 10 minutes later a boat selling ice-cream suffered a power failure and drifted against the side of the ferry.

Poole RNLI Inshore Lifeboat was called into action once again and towed it to safety.

Paul Singleton, senior helmsman at Poole Inshore Lifeboat, said they had been kept “very busy” on Saturday afternoon.

He said: “They were racing out in the bay, then came back in and got trapped against the ferry and couldn’t do anything.

“One person climbed up the side of the ferry and one ended up in the water because the boat was sinking.

“The mast on the racing dinghy was damaged. One of the blokes was a bit shaken up.

“Ten minutes after that the ice-cream vessel had a power failure and drifted against the prow of the ferry.”

Steve Williams, coastguard watch officer at Portland, said such incidents sometimes happened when small boats got caught out by the tide.

He said: “The ferry is not particularly fast but is quite big. Unsuspecting small boat users can get caught by the tide and be unable to avoid the ferry.

“I’ve seen incidents of this sort a few times. People should be aware that the ferry is operating and give it a wide berth.”