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Sinking motor cruiser assisted by Margate and Whitstable lifeboats

Lifeboats News Release

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.’
RNLI Media contacts
·         Peter Barker, RNLI Margate Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer 07974 064304
·         Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) 0207 6207426, 07785 296252
·         For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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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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