RNLI lifeboats from Margate and Whitstable have been involved in a complex operation overnight to save a motor cruiser from sinking off the north Kent coast.
The 58’ motor cruiser with four persons on board was on passage from Ramsgate to London in the early hours of this morning (Friday 30 September) when it started taking in water off Reculver Towers. The vessel’s bilge pumps had failed and the crew were bailing out using buckets.
The crew broadcast a Pan Pan urgency message and coastguards tasked Whitstable lifeboat and Margate’s all-weather lifeboat to the vessel’s assistance. Whitstable lifeboat was first to arrive on scene and deployed their salvage pump to control the inflow of water.
Margate’s lifeboat was also soon on scene and as the motor cruiser was barely able to make way it was taken in tow by the lifeboat, the lifeboat crew preparing their own larger salvage pump for use.
Once the safety of Whitstable harbour was reached the cruiser was secured alongside with assistance from Margate and Herne Bay coastguard rescue teams. Both lifeboat’s pumps were used to clear as much water as possible from the vessel’s engine room and once the flooding was under control the lifeboats returned to station.
Ian Lowe, RNLI Margate Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘This is the second incident recently where Margate and Whitstable RNLI lifeboats have assisted flooded vessels using the complimentary lifeboats deployed along the north Kent coast to save a vessel in distress and prevent potential risk to life. The two crews used their training to work alongside each other to affect a safe rescue.’
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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.
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