POLICE and lifeboat crews were tasked with locating a stolen boat ‘driven erratically’ in Poole Harbor yesterday morning.
The Poole Lifeboat Station was informed of the theft of the ship by the British Coast Guard on Sunday 19 September and both ships assisted police aboard the harbor patrol boat “Vanguard”.
A spokesperson for Poole Lifeboat Station said: ‘The two lifeboats were on exercise on the morning of Sunday 19 September when they were tasked by the British Coast Guard to assist the harbor patrol boat. ‘Vanguard’, which had police on board reporting the stolen boat.
“The boat was rolling erratically in Poole Harbor so the lifeboats were instructed to stand by in case someone jumped from the ship into the water.
“Conditions in the harbor were calm with a gentle north-westerly breeze. The ship was quickly located; it had just run aground in the shallow waters of Whitley Lake. ”
Officers were then transferred to the lifeboat to enable them to travel to shallower water and requisition the stolen boat.
The 24-foot fishing boat was located near Whitley Lake and two people were found on board.
“It was decided to transfer the police to the lifeboat and take them to the ship for further investigation as the harbor patrol boat could not go into shallow water,” the spokesperson added.
“The police were then transferred to the stolen vessel, which was a small 24-foot fishing boat, they found two people hiding in the forward cabin.
“The lifeboat then returned the police and two people to the Vanguard, which brought them back to shore.
“The lifeboat volunteers then towed the stricken vessel into deeper water and secured it to a mooring at the edge of the channel.
“The lifeboats returned to the station, washed and ready for service at 1:30 p.m.”
Dorset Police have been contacted for further information.