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Walmer’s RNLI lifeboat called out to missing swimmers

Lifeboats News Release

On Saturday 13 May at 13:17pm, Walmer’s RNLI volunteer pagers sounded with an immediate launch for the charity’s D class lifeboat Dougie Rudbard ll.

Rescue services were scrambled after reports of seven missing swimmers

Mat Southern

Rescue services were scrambled after reports of seven missing swimmers

The UK Coastguard confirmed with the deputy launching authority there was one swimmer missing by Deal Pier. As the D class made ready it was reported there could be seven swimmers now unaccounted for, so the relief Atlantic 85 lifeboat The Drayton Manor was also launched. Other agencies responding to the call included the UK Coastguard rescue helicopter, the ambulance service, Deal Coastguard Rescue Team and the police.

The woman swimmer who raised the alarm was cared for at Walmer Lifeboat Station, but due to her deteriorating condition a request was made for an ambulance to attend. When the casualty told a volunteer helping in the lifeboat station’s souvenir shop there was a possibility seven swimmers may be unaccounted for, the Dover Coastguard advised the ambulance control which in turn sent further support ambulances.

The Walmer lifeboats under the command of Lee Waddon and Andrew Coe searched the area from Deal Pier to the sailing club and made contact with some of the other swimmers associated with the group. On confirmation from these swimmers it turned out that all swimmers had been accounted for. The two Walmer Lifeboats both returned to the lifeboat station by 13.50pm.

Press Contacts:

Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer, on 0207 6207416 or 07786 668825 or Alternatively, contact the RNLI Press Office 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


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