An abandoned kayak has sparked a search and rescue operation by Margate’s RNLI inshore lifeboat and prompted a plea to report the loss of small craft at sea.
Coastguards at Dover alerted Margate’s RNLI inshore lifeboat earlier today (Saturday 23 July) after a rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RIB) came across an abandoned kayak south of the Hook Sands off Minnis Bay Birchington.
The RIB remained with the kayak until the lifeboat arrived and checked it out for recent occupancy. It appeared to have been abandoned for some time and was landed ashore with RNLI lifeguards at Minnis Bay before being taken away by the local coastguard rescue team.
As it could not be ruled out that the occupant had become separated from the craft the lifeboat carried out a shoreline search along with the coastguard rescue team from Minnis Bay to Herne Bay. After a thorough check of the area the search was called off and all units were stood down.
Nick Smith, Deputy Launching Authority, Margate Lifeboat Station said: ‘We urge people to tell the coastguard if they abandon any sort of small craft at sea. With the absence of information, the worst has to be assumed leading to the extensive tying-up of resources which may be needed more genuinely elsewhere’.
For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
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, 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.