Sheerness RNLI lifeboat crew in a multi-agency search for a missing teenager
The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat ‘Buster’ were called by the UK Coastguard at 0145 am on 7 December to assist a multi agency team in a search for a teenager who had been reported missing in the area of Sun Pier,Chatham.
The multi agency team comprising of crews from Kent Police, Medway and Sheppey Coastguard, Kent Search and Rescue Volunteers, Kent Fire and Rescue along with the Sheerness RNLI lifeboat crew were initially tasked to search an area from Chatham docks down to Sun Pier in the River Medway for any signs of the missing person.
With nothing untoward being found and tidal conditions becoming unfavourable the lifeboat crew were stood down at 0345 am and returned to station.
The lifeboat was called again at 12.13 pm to continue the search and at the request of the UK Coastguard they now covered an area up to Gas House point and also round Hoo Island and the Nore Marshes.
Once again with nothing found and on a falling tide the crew returned to station at 2.40 pm
The crew were then called again at 3.52 pm to continue the search, this time covering a wider area from Chatham docks down to the M2 motorway bridge and again nothing untoward was found and the lifeboat returned to station at 7.50pm
After a further call from the UK Coastguard at 10.00 am on 8 December the inshore lifeboat crew along with the other agency teams continued the search for the missing teenager and once again with nothing found the lifeboat crew were stood down and returned to station at 4.00pm.
The Sheerness RNLI lifeboat was asked to launch a fifth time on 9 December by the UK Coastguard at 10.15am and to search in the area of Canal Road in Strood along with the UK Coastguard helicopter from Lydd and coastguard teams from Medway and Sheppey plus other agencies. Again nothing untoward was found and the crews were stood down at 1.10pm.
Sheerness RNLI lifeboat coxswain Robin Castle said: ‘The last few days have been very challenging for our volunteer lifeboat crew, and indeed for everyone from the various agencies involved with the search. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the missing teenager.’
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Key facts about the RNLI
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 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.