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Dungeness lifeboat diverted from training exercise to look for a swimmer

Lifeboats News Release

On Wednesday 19 July, while on an evening training exercise, the UK coastguard requested the RNLI lifeboat be diverted to look for a swimmer who was reported clinging to an orange mooring buoy off Hythe beach.

Once in the search area, Second Coxswain Trevor Bunney in command of the RNLI Shannon class lifeboat 13-02 ‘The Morrell’ and her volunteer crew together with Littlestone RNLI lifeboat who was also on scene did a quick search along the shore but no one was sighted. A parallel search with the two RNLI lifeboats was set up from Hythe to Folkestone Harbour but again nothing was found.

The UK coastguard decided to stand both lifeboats down. Dungeness RNLI lifeboat returned to station, refuelled and was ready for service by 9.20pm.

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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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