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Margate RNLI investigates reports of red flares

Lifeboats News Release

Margate’s RNLI all-weather lifeboat was called out late last night (Thursday 10 August) following reports of red flares.

Margate RNLI all-weather lifeboat 'Leonard Kent' outside the lifeboat station (RNLI Margate)

RNLI/Peter Barker

Margate RNLI all-weather lifeboat 'Leonard Kent' outside the lifeboat station (RNLI Margate)

UK Coastguard received two reports from members of the public of red flares close inshore off Westgate-on-Sea. The all-weather lifeboat together with the local coastguard rescue team were tasked to investigate.

The lifeboat carried out an extensive visual and electronic search between Margate and Minnis Bay and out to the Margate Sands using both radar and illuminating parachute flares. After around three hours nothing had been found and with no reports of overdue boats or any other information the search was called off, the call considered a false alarm with good intent.

Ian Lowe, deputy launching authority said: ‘Thanks are due to the members of the public who raised the alarm. The crew would sooner investigate a false alarm than not respond to what could be a genuine distress situation.’

RNLI Media contacts

  • Peter Barker, RNLI Margate Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer 07974 064304 peter_barker@rnli.org.uk

  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 tim_ash@rnli.org.uk

  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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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 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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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.

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