Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat finish tow-in then assist after jet ski capsize

Lifeboats News Release

The crew of the Sheerness ILB had just finished towing one vessel to safety when they came across three men in the water trying unsuccessfully to get back onto a jet ski.

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat Eleanor were called at 4.48pm on Tuesday 26 July to a 6m motor boat, Tanushka, that had broken down in the Medway estuary.

The craft, with two men on board, was located close to the firing range buoys on Grain Spit. The lifeboat crew attached a line and towed the vessel back to its mooring in Queenborough Harbour and the occupants were landed ashore at 6.25pm.

On their way back to station the lifeboat crew came across three men in the water near to Queenborough Spit buoy, very close to the rocks at Lappel Bank.

The men were observed trying to climb back onto a jet ski which then capsized leaving them struggling in the cold water. The crew quickly recovered the men and took them on board the ILB.

All three were suffering from the cold and were wrapped in survival blankets and taken to the all tide landing at Queenborough Harbour where they were landed to await the Sheppey Coastguard crew.

One crew member remained with the three men whilst the lifeboat went to recover the jet ski which had by now drifted closer to the rocks and further towards Garrison Point.

An unsuccessful attempt was made to right it so the craft was taken under tow to the Lower Camber basin in Sheerness Docks.

The lifeboat crew then returned to Queenborough Harbour to collect the crew member who had stayed with the three men only to be informed that they had ‘done a runner’ and disappeared.

The lifeboat returned to station where the owner of the jet ski was waiting along with the Sheppey coastguard crew.

The ILB lifeboat was ready for service again at 8.15pm   

RNLI media contacts

• Vic Booth RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer (Sheerness)  07926904453 / 01795 880544 /

• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252

• Sophie Coller-Nielsen      Press Officer (London/East/South East), 0207 6207416, 07824 416615 email 

• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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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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