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Our vessel Kingston was contracted to put to sea from Poole on New Year’s Eve 2017 to tow the disabled coaster the Pilsum.

Pilsum had anchored off Portland Bill. With an increasing forecast the Pilsum was dragging anchor and was making way towards St Albans Head. As it was News Year’s Eve, we crewed the vessel with 2 of our managers, (the Company Director and Operations Manager. As the vessel was preparing to depart, Solent Coastguard contacted the vessel and advised that the weather forecast had increased to storm force 10 for the Portland sea area.

Kingston departed Poole and proceeded to the casualty. With the wind and tidal drift, the Pilsum was now entering the tidal overfalls at St Albans Ledges. Kingston made several attempts to connect the tow line. 11 attempts later, finally secured the towline and started making way towards the calmer waters of Poole Bay. At this point the Kingston and the Pilsum were less than 1000m from the rocky shores of St Albans Head.

The Weymouth and Swanage Lifeboats were also launched to the casualty, a helicopter and pollution response equipment were put on standby ready for use.

Once in the sheltered waters of Poole Bay, the casualty was anchored, and the tug moored alongside while preparations were made to enter the Port of Poole. As it was New Year’s Eve, these preparations took 2 days, so the crew enjoyed fireworks around Poole Bay while afloat.

While sat at anchor on New Year’s Day the Company Director who was on Kingston went onboard the disabled Pilsum and following discussions with the Master and Chief Engineer, managed to find and fix the problem that had initially disabled the ships main engine.

The ship was able to proceed to the Port of Poole under its own power and escorted by the Kingston and a local Harbour tug.

Kingston’s crew that night was nominated for awards from the Royal Humane Society and all received commendations for praiseworthy action in assisting in saving the lives of the crew of the MV Pilsum on the 31 Dcember 2017.


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