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Ailing sailing yacht leads to early morning call out for Dover Lifeboat

About the author

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Martin Collins
Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer

Lifeboats News Release

  • Date:
  • Author: Martin Collins

Ailing sailing yacht leads to early morning call out for Dover Lifeboat

Dover’s RNLI volunteers were rousted from their beds, on Saturday (19th) morning, by their pagers sounding at 0455hrs. Arriving at the lifeboat station they found that they’d been requested to launch by Dover Coastguard who had become concerned for the safety of two men aboard a yacht that was struggling in the busy south west shipping lane.

The yellow hulled 10m yacht was returning to Rochester from Nieuwport, Belgium when it got into difficulties approximately eleven miles off Dover. Dover Lifeboat City of London II reached the yacht’s position in under forty minutes. The lifeboat crew found the yachtsmen were suffering from exhaustion and their problems compounded by technical failures in the yacht’s equipment. The decision was made to tow the vessel into Dover for rest and repairs.

The lifeboat arrived back in Dover with the yacht safely under tow at just before 0800hrs.

Notes to editors

  • Dover lifeboat station has been operating since 1837. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to www.rnli.org.uk/dover or www.dover-lifeboat.org.uk.
  • Dover Lifeboat Station currently operates City of London II, a Severn class, all weather lifeboat. The 17m vessel is self righting, crewed at sea by a Coxswain and six crew and capable of 25kts.
  • The Dover Lifeboat Station and shop is situated in the Marina on the Crosswall Quay, Union Street.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact:

  • Tony Hawkins, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 01304 502319 (Work), 07961 878611 (Mobile) or 01304 824546 (Home).
  • Martin Collins, RNLI Volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07711 607298
  • Richard Smith, Media Relations Manager East on 07786 668825 or Richard_Smith2@rnli.org.uk
  • RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789.

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Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland from 237 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 180 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland