Drifting cruiser towed to safety in the Medway Estuary
Sheerness RNLI lifeboat crew tow a drifting cabin cruiser to the safety of Queenborough harbour
The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat ‘Buster’ were called by the UK Coastguard at 5.03pm on Saturday 3 June 2017 to search for an 8mtr cruiser ‘Dougal’ reported broken down with engine failure and drifting in the Medway estuary. The emergency call was made by mobile phone which was the only means of communication and the caller stated they were unsure of the crafts position and also that they were not able to drop an anchor.
The craft with five persons on board, two adults and three children aged nine, seven and two years, was originally on route from the Medway area and making for Gravesend.
The crew of the inshore lifeboat located the casualty at 5.37pm drifting in the area of No.16 buoy close to Oakham Ness and very near to the main shipping channel
The crew checked that all on board were ok and after a tow line was attached the vessel and its occupants were towed back to the safety of Queenborough all tide landing where they were handed over to members of the Sheppey Coastguard unit at 8.46pm suffering no ill effects.
The ILB was back on station and ready for duty again at 9.20pm.
Sheerness RNLI lifeboat 2nd Coxswain Paul Jarvis said: ‘we advise that every journey at sea, whether by experienced or inexperienced crew, should be properly planned and these plans should include full knowledge of the vessels machinery, communication and navigation equipment and also that the vessel has suitable and working safety equipment. This incident was just one of a number of a similar nature we have been called out to over the last few weeks and could have ended so much differently in what is a very busy shipping area’
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Key facts about the RNLI
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.