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Two men rescued from the River Medway

Lifeboats News Release

The Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched after reports of two men in difficulties in a small rubber dinghy

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat launched at 8.55pm on Monday 17 July after a call from the UK Coastguard reported that two men in a very small rubber dinghy were in trouble in the area of the Medway Yacht Club close to Upnor.

In a bizarre set of circumstances it appears the men aged 35 and 45 had fallen into the water whilst trying to row their tiny dinghy back to the shore.

Once in the water the two somehow managed to grab hold of a life raft from one of the Royal Engineers RHIB boats moored close by. Once in the water the life raft inflated and the two men managed to climb on board taking their own dinghy with them.

Having clambered onboard the two then proceeded to let off two red emergency parachute flares and two orange smoke flares they found on the life raft.

After arriving on the scene the crew of the ILB took both men off the life raft and landed them ashore where the crew of the Medway Coastguard Unit were waiting to receive them.

The ILB then went back out and retrieved the life raft which was also handed over to the Coastguard crew on the shore at Upnor.

Having been in the water for some time both men were reported as being very cold after their ordeal.

No further details were given as to why the men were out on the water or for what reason.

The ILB returned to station at 10.25pm


RNLI 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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