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.'

Notes to editors

• Imagery and video can be obtained from our social media sites on Facebook and Twitter. Please ensure all media used are credited to those who supplied them to the RNLI.

RNLI media contacts

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

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.