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A Dutch family called for help after their yacht’s rudder failed.

Lifeboats News Release

The Sheerness RNLI lifeboat towed a yacht to safety after it got into difficulties in the Thames estuary

The casualty craft at anchor awaiting rescue after its rudder broke

RNLI/Vic Booth

The Dutch yacht 'Plevier'

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI all weather lifeboat launched at 2.33pm on Monday 28 August after being called by the UK Coastguard to assist the Dutch registered charter yacht ‘Plevier’ that was in trouble after losing steerage due to a broken rudder.

The ALB located the craft at anchor just west of the Mid Swatch buoy at 2.51pm, a crew member from the lifeboat was put on board and a tow line was established.

Once under tow it was only possible to make very slow progress due to the yacht veering erratically even with a casualty drogue deployed (the drogue is used to steady a craft with steerage problems).

The yacht with its family of dad, mum and 15yr old son from Holland on board were safely returned to a mooring in Queenborough Harbour from where they had earlier left on route for London at 4.15pm

The ALB returned to station at 4.33pm


Media contacts:

Vic Booth RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer (Sheerness) 07926904453 / 01795 880544

Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer S.E. 07786668825

• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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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