Multiple calls for the Sheerness RNLI lifeboat crews
The Sheerness RNLI lifeboats responded to five separate incidents in 24 hours
The volunteer crew of the Sheerness inshore lifeboat ‘Buster’ launched at 6.49pm on Saturday 17 June 2017 after a call from the UK Coastguard reported a speedboat had broken down off the Shingle Bank at Minster on Sea. The craft with two men and three women on board was at anchor some way off the beach. The ILB crew located the craft at 6.54pm and towed it back to the launching ramp at the Shingle Bank. The ILB returned to station at 7.24pm.
The second call came at 10.38pm when the ILB crew were requested by the UK Coastguard after reports that a Personal Locater Beacon (device indicates a man overboard) had been actuated in the area of Lower Upnor on the River Medway.
Various port craft and tugs attending the ‘Medway in Flames’ event were also involved in the search.
The ILB was on the scene at 11.03pm and was informed that a Dutch yacht, the Sy Choller’ had reported that the PLB had been accidentally activated and that all was well and there was no one in the water. With the situation resolved the ILB returned to station at 11.55pm.
The ILB crew were called again by the UK Coastguard on Sunday 18 June to reports that a 10 metre yacht had broken down and needed assistance off Allhallows.
Before the crew had launched a further call was received reporting that a number of children were in difficulties off the beach at Minster Leas in front of the RNLI Lifeguard hut.
The ILB launched at 2.48pm and was on the scene of the incident at 2.58pm where the lifeboat crew found seven children having great difficulty trying to walk back to the shore.
The children were taken on board the lifeboat and taken close in to the shore where it was established that they were all okay.
This incident also involved UK Coastguard helicopter 163, Kent Police, Kent Fire and Rescue, Kent Ambulance and the Sheppey Coastguard Rescue Team.
With the situation now under control at Minster the ILB crew were re-tasked to the yacht ‘Ophiotaurus’ that was previously reported in trouble off Allhallows.
The ILB located the yacht at 3.24pm and finding that the craft was too big and heavy for it to tow a call was put in to launch the all weather lifeboat ‘The George and Ivy Swanson’.
The ALB launched at 3.34pm and was on the scene at 4.00pm, a tow line was attached and the ILB was now released and returned to station at 4.20pm
In the mean time the ALB towed the yacht back to the safety of Queenborough all tide landing where it was secured at 5.20pm and the ALB returned to station at 5.57pm.
No sooner had the inshore lifeboat returned to station and the crew were making it ready for service when another call came in at 4.39pm reporting that an inflatable kayak had been sighted tied to No.25 buoy in the estuary with no sign of anyone on board and there were concerns that a person, or persons, were missing from the craft.
The ILB arrived at the scene to find that a speedboat had the kayak, which belonged to them, on board and that there were no persons missing and all was well.
The ILB returned to station at 5.57pm alongside the all weather lifeboat.
Sheerness RNLI lifeboat coxswain Robin Castle said :’ all in all this was a hectic weekend for all the crew members involved and fortunately there were no serious problems for those rescued’
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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, in a normal year, 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.