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Whitstable and Margate RNLI lifeboats assist cruiser after cyclist raises alarm

Lifeboats News Release

The Whitstable volunteer in shore lifeboat was launched at 07.46am on Monday 8 May following a report from the UK Coastguard of a 30ft motor cruiser with two persons on board at risk of grounding off Bishopstone Glen, Herne Bay.

Whitstable RNLI lifeboat tows the 30ft motor cruiser from the beach at Bishopstone Glen.

RNLI/Dave Parry

Whitstable RNLI lifeboat tows the 30ft motor cruiser from the beach at Bishopstone Glen.

The initial report of a vessel in difficulty came from off duty coastguard Henry Treadwell who had been out cycling when he spotted the craft’s distress.

The lifeboat crew located the craft, which had gone ashore at Bishopstone Glen at 8.00am. RNLI volunteer helmsman Richard Judge said:

'Due to the size of the casualty craft and the north-north easterly force 5-6 wind and two metre swell we requested that the Margate all-weather lifeboat be launched to assist'.

'Assisted by the Herne Bay Coastguard Rescue Team we passed a tow line and put a lifeboat crew member on board and eventually towed the casualty vessel clear of the beach'.

'On inspection it was found that while there had been no significant ingress of water, the motor cruiser had suffered damage to its steering. We handed the tow over to the Margate Lifeboat 3/4-mile offshore which then took the vessel under tow for Whitstable Harbour'.

Just after 10.00am the motor cruiser was secured alongside the west quay and both lifeboats were released to return to station.

The motor cruiser had left Canvey Island at 10.00pm the previous evening for a fishing trip and got into difficulties when it lost power off Herne Bay. This was the 9th call of the year for Whitstable's volunteer lifeboat crews.

Whitstable crew information:

Crew: Dave Parry, Tim Smith, Andy Williams.

Launchers: John Keam, Ben Crosswell, Adrian Woolrich-Burt, Mark Sidders.

Whitstable RNLI Lifeboat Station was established in 1963 by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and is one of 237 lifeboat stations around the shores of the UK and Ireland. The volunteer crews provide a maritime search and rescue service for the Kent coast. They cover the area between the Kingsferry Bridge on the Swale, in the west, around the south-eastern side of Sheppey and along the coast through Whitstable and Herne Bay to Reculver in the east and outwards into the Thames Estuary.

The station is equipped with an Atlantic 85 in-shore lifeboat named Lewisco, purchased through a bequest of a Mrs Lewis of London who passed away in 2006.

RNLI media contacts:

Chris Davey, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Whitstable Lifeboat Station.
07741 012004/

Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 /

Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer London/southeast/east Tel: 0207 6207416 Mob: (07786) 668825

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

The Margate all-weather lifeboat takes over the tow of the motor cruiser

RNLI/Tim Smith

The Margate all-weather lifeboat takes over the tow of the motor cruiser
The Whitstable RNLI in shore lifeboat tows the vessel off the beach

Henry Treadwell

The Whitstable RNLI in shore lifeboat tows the vessel off the beach

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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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