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Dover RNLI and Coastguard helicopter respond to reports of person in the water

Lifeboats News Release

At 8.44pm Dover Coastguard requested the immediate launch of both Dover RNLI and HM Coastguard’s rescue helicopter after reports of a woman in water in the vicinity of Folkestone’s Sunny Sands.

Dover RNLI’s Severn class lifeboat, The City of London II, was the first search and rescue unit on scene by approximately 9.15pm.

Coxswain James Clapham said: 'We immediately used six parachute flares to illuminate the inshore area offshore from Sunny Sands. The low tide made it difficult for us to get in close.'

Kent Police and Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) were already on scene searching the shoreline, joined by South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMBS) and Folkestone Coastguard Rescue team.

Illumination from the flares and the use of KFRS thermal imaging equipment assisted the shore side services to locate the casualty and bring her to safety. 
Dover RNLI and HM Rescue 163 helicopter remained on scene until the casualty was confirmed to be stable and within the care of SECAMB.

James Clapham also said: 'Searches are much more challenging during darkness; we would urge people to be careful if they are deliberately entering the water beyond daylight hours and remember to Respect the Water'.

Notes to editors

• The MCA Media team can be contacted regarding their involvement and footage from the helicopter’s on board cameras can be requested.
• SECAMB, Kent Police, KFRS to be contacted for further information on their involvement.

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 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