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Sheerness RNLI lifeboat crew rescue sailor in a bit of a whirl

Lifeboats News Release

An elderly man was rescued after running aground in the Medway estuary on the morning of Tuesday 9 May.

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat Buster were called by the UK Coastguard at 5.58am to reports that an elderly gentleman, alone on a 30ft craft, was in difficulties in the area of Grain Spit at the mouth of the Medway.

The casualty was quickly located and the man, who was disorientated, informed the crew he thought he had been caught in a whirlpool, but in actual fact his vessel had run into shallow water and was hard aground on Grain Spit.

A line was attached to the craft and the ILB attempted to tow it off the mud bank without success.

The crew then advised the man that it would be better if they took him off his craft and back to the safety of the Sheerness Lifeboat Station where the Sheppey Coastguards and a Kent ambulance crew were waiting.

Having taken the man back to the Lifeboat station the crew returned to his craft and secured it with an anchor and left it safely in its previous position.

The ILB returned to station at 7.05am.


Media Contacts

RNLI 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 6207426, 07785 296252

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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