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Sheerness RNLI lifeboat crew search for a lone sailor in the Thames estuary

Lifeboats News Release

Unsure of his whereabouts after suffering engine failure on his yacht a 69 year old called for assistance.

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI all weather lifeboat ‘The George and Ivy Swanson’ were called by the UK Coastguard at 7.25pm on Sunday 25 June to search for a 69 year old man alone on his 27 foot yacht ‘Lucy Kate’ who had reported that his engine had failed and that he was drifting and unsure of his location in the Thames estuary.

After launching the ALB crew used the lifeboats direction finding equipment to try and locate the yacht which initial reports stated was East of Southend Pier. Having searched in that area with no success and not being able to get a fix on the yachts position with the direction finder because the casualties radio signal was too weak the crew were sent to an area just north west of the Kentish Flats but again were unable to find the casualty craft.

Whilst continuing their search a message was received that a ship outbound from London had spotted a craft matching the description of the missing yacht in the area of the Maplins Buoy which is approximately 14 miles from Sheerness.

Making full speed to the location given the crew finally found the yacht and its owner who reported that he was okay.

After attaching a tow line the craft was towed back to Queenborough all tide landing where the 69 year old man, who had been sailing out of Benfleet when his problems began, was met by his daughter who had come to collect him.

The ALB returned to station and was ready for service again at 11.55pm


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

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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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland