More calls for help keep the Sheerness RNLI lifeboat crews busy

Lifeboats News Release

The Sheerness RNLI lifeboats attended four more calls for assistance in what has been a very busy month for the Islands crews

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness all weather lifeboat ‘The George and Ivy Swanson’ were called by the UK Coastguard at 4.42pm on Wednesday 21 June to reports that a small yacht ‘Emma’ was in difficulties in the River Medway.

The crew located the yacht in Long Reach which is close to the Kingsnorth Power Station jetty and were informed by the two men on board that the yacht had fouled a discarded anchor and line which was holding the craft secure to the seabed.

The lifeboat crew managed to recover the anchor and line but could not unravel it from around the crafts propeller and rudder and so the decision was made to tow the yacht back to its base at Gillingham Marina where it was handed over to the marina work boat at 5.55pm.The ALB was back on station and ready for duty again at 6.25pm.

The ALB was launched again at 8.18pm on Friday 23 June after being called by the UK Coastguard to a 22 foot yacht that was in difficulties after being caught out by the bad weather conditions prevailing at the time.

The ALB located the yacht close to the Kentish Flats wind farm complex off Whitstable at 8.57pm in very ‘choppy’ conditions and a crew member was put on board the craft to establish that the occupants were okay and also to secure a tow line so that the craft could be safely moved away from the wind farm complex.

With the craft in tow at 9.32pm slow progress was made as being such a small craft more speed would have resulted in a most uncomfortable ride for the occupants.

The ALB crew finally secured the yacht safely on the Queenborough all tide landing at 11.25pm and were back on station and ready for further service after cleaning and refuelling at 11.57pm.

In the mean time the crew of the inshore lifeboat ‘Buster’ had also been called out on a pre-arranged call from the UK Coastguard asking for assistance to a 20 foot cruiser that had previously gone hard aground in Limehouse Reach at Rochester in the River Medway.

The ILB located the craft at 10.00pm and after a tow line was attached the craft was quickly refloated and towed to Sun Pier,Chatham, where the Medway Coastguard team were waiting to receive the occupants.

The ILB was released and was back on station at 11.26pm

The ILB was called again at 7.45pm on Saturday 24 June to a report from Kent Police of an incident involving a female in the mud below the A2 road/rail bridge in Rochester, whilst launching the ILB was stood down as another boat in the area had managed to recover the female and hand her over to waiting paramedics.
Later the same evening the ALB was called by the UK Coastguard at 11.45pm to attend a yacht with one man on board thought to be in the vicinity of no.13 Buoy in the River Medway close to Stoke Creek.

On launching,further information was received that the yacht was actually some way up Stoke Creek and therefore not accessible by the ALB.

The decision was made to call out the ILB crew who, after launching, proceeded to the area and located the yacht aground on a mud bank.

A tow line was attached, the craft was refloated, and then towed to moorings at the top of Stoke Creek.

ILB was back on station and ready for service at 2.33am

Ends

Media contacts:

• Vic Booth RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer (Sheerness) 07926904453 / 01795 880544 vic.booth111@btinternet.com / vic_booth@rnli.org.uk

Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer S.E. paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk 07786668825

• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 tim_ash@rnli.org.uk

• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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.

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