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Sheerness RNLI called to assist a narrowboat in trouble

Lifeboats News Release

After running aground in the Thames estuary a 45 foot narrowboat was towed to safety by the Sheerness All Weather Lifeboat (ALB).

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI All Weather Lifeboat (ALB) The George and Ivy Swanson  were called at 9.03pm on Monday 1 August to assist a 45 foot  narrowboat that had run aground on Blyth Sands, which are situated on the north side of the Isle of Grain, approximately seven miles from Sheerness.

When the ALB arrived at the scene the narrowboat, with its one man crew, had managed to refloat itself and the Gravesend lifeboat that had previously been called to assist was standing by.

Due to the owner being badly fatigued and not sure of his whereabouts the decision was made to transfer him to the ALB and to put two crew members onto the narrowboat and then tow it back to Queenborough Harbour.

The owner, a Sheppey resident, was brought ashore at the lifeboat station and later gratefully dropped off at his home by a crew member.

He had purchased the vessel two weeks prior in Chertsey, Surrey, and took the decision to sail it down the Thames and back to Queenborough concluding later that this had not been the best idea.

The ALB was ready for service again at 12.15am early the next morning

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

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 Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 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.

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