50th call out of the year for the Sheerness RNLI Lifeboat crew
A late evening call from the UK Coastguard requested the inshore lifeboat assist in searching for a small dinghy with three persons on board.
The volunteer crew of the Sheerness inshore lifeboat launched at 10.00pm on Tuesday 27 June at the request of the UK Coastguard to help search for a missing 10 foot dinghy with three persons on board.
The emergency call originated from a person who was on the shore at Gillingham Strand and reported that the craft had left there at 6.00pm and was believed to have been heading for the Sheppey Crossing at the time but was now overdue in returning to Gillingham.
The UK Coastguard were concerned for the safety of the occupants of the craft as no communication had been made and there were no details as to what safety equipment was on board the small craft.
The ILB was quickly on the scene and began a search of the area given but no visual sighting of the craft was apparent.
A further call from the original informant stated that he had now received a call from the missing craft saying that the dinghy was tied up and all three persons were safe ashore but refused to disclose the location.
With this information being given the ILB crew, and also the Sheppey Coastguard rescue unit who had also been called out, were stood down.
The ILB was back on station at 10.36pm.
Sheerness Lifeboat coxswain Robin Castle said :’this is not only the 50th call out we have received this year but also the 20th call we have had over the last four weeks. I would once again like to re-iterate that before going afloat please make sure that all safety and communications equipment is in place and working, that your craft itself is up to the job and in best working order and finally when you go afloat please leave details of your planned route and destination plus your estimated time of arrival / return with someone back on shore’
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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.