Lifeboat crews have rescued two men from a dinghy in the busy English Channel in the early hours of this morning (Thursday 14 April).
At 2.17am volunteer crew members from Dover and Dungeness RNLI lifeboat stations were requested to launch by Dover Coastguard following reports of a small inflatable dinghy adrift in the shipping lanes
Dover’s Tamar class lifeboat and the Shannon class lifeboat began a search but while this was happening, someone aboard a P&O passenger ferry spotted a feint white light at approximately 3.30am.
The Coastguard asked Dover lifeboat crew to investigate and the crew found two men in a 10ft inflatable craft, approximately 1 mile from the coastline. It is believed the light was from a mobile phone they were using to make a call to the UK emergency services.
Dover RNLI crew recovered the two men to the lifeboat and they were made warm and given first aid. The lifeboat crew returned to their station and the two men were handed over to Kent Police. Meanwhile Dungeness RNLI lifeboat crew were stood down and returned to station
Allen Head, Divisional Operations Manager for the RNLI, said: This incident shows the commitment that our volunteer crew members make, leaving their beds and families in the early hours of the morning to assist those at risk of losing their lives at sea.
‘Our remit is simply to assist those in danger or distress at sea – we make no judgement and it is not for us to distinguish between people’s reasons for being at sea. Our primary function as a search and rescue charityis to do just that.
‘We launched as requested and brought the two men back to the safety of dry land. Once we were satisfied they were no longer at risk we handed them into the care of other authorities to deal with them in the appropriate manner.’
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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.
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