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Dover RNLI and HMC 'Valiant' respond to Mayday call

Lifeboats News Release

At approximately 1.15am on Wednesday 27 July a British national transmitted a Mayday request for urgent assistance to his position 15 miles offshore from Dover Harbour.

The small blue fishing vessel was located within the busy separation zones in the channel and needed immediate assistance when he was taking on water whilst also suffering engine failure.

UK Border Force’s Cutter Valiant rapidly diverted from their routine patrols in the English Channel and was the first on scene. They rescued one man from the small vessel and assessed the nature of the Mayday.

Dover RNLI’s Severn class lifeboat, City of London II, was on scene by 2.15am to aid HMC Valiant with the vessel and casualty. 
James Clapham, Coxswain for Dover RNLI said: 'Once HMC Valiant was on scene it was determined only the assistance of Dover RNLI was required. We took transfer of one 57-year-old man into our care and diverted our attention to recovering the small vessel he was aboard.'

The man had been at sea on his own since 5pm the previous evening, a very long duration to be on your own in such a busy channel. We recommend you always have extra support on board when making such long journeys and travelling at night.'

Due to previous health conditions of the casualty Dover RNLI requested support from South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMB) to give the man a welfare check once they returned to Dover Harbour at 5.15am. The man was deemed well and discharged by paramedics with no need for further treatment.

Dover RNLI volunteer shore crew member, Ed Baker, said: 'This proved to be a sleepless night for a large number of our volunteer crew members and once again showed great multi-agency co-operation getting to the distressed vessel quickly.'

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RNLI media contacts

• Ed Baker, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer
• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/South East/East)
0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 / 
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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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