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Sheerness RNLI lifeboat attend two incidents involving ‘a man and his dog'

Lifeboats News Release

The first incident involved a wildfowler and his dog who were brought to safety after becoming marooned.

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat launched at 2.30pm on Tuesday 21 November after a call from the UK Coastguard reported that a man and his Labrador dog were in difficulties on the marshes at Stoke Creek in the Medway estuary.

Whilst they were out wildfowling the dog decided to ‘do its own thing ‘and would not respond to its owner’s calls, ultimately ending up marooned on a marshy outcrop where it stayed put and refused to come back.

Having made a call to the UK Coastguard the man was advised to remain where he was on dry land and not attempt to reach the animal.

The lifeboat crew quickly located the dog which was then taken on board to be safely and successfully reunited with its grateful owner.

Both the man and his dog were then transported back to the mainland where they were met by the Medway Coastguard Rescue Team none the worse for their experience.

The ILB was back on station at 3.35pm.

The second incident began later that day when the crew of the all-weather lifeboat were paged at 8.49pm after the UK coastguard reported that a small craft, approximately 24 feet in length, with one man and a dog on board was hard aground on the Maplin Sands in the Thames estuary 2.5 nautical miles NW of the Maplin Bell buoy and some 12 nautical miles from Sheerness.

The UK coastguard had expressed concerns for the mans safety as he was believed to be on medication and deemed vulnerable.

After further discussion the UK coastguard requested that the ALB from Sheerness and also the Southend RNLI lifeboat be launched to attend the incident.

The Sheerness ALB launched at 9.40pm and made best speed to the scene where it arrived at 10.30pm and stood by to await the arrival of the smaller Southend lifeboat.

Once the Southend lifeboat was on the scene two Sheerness crew members transferred from the ALB on to it and the smaller craft was then taken very slowly towards the casualty where a tow line was safely attached and the craft was towed to deeper water where the tow was then taken over by the ALB with the ultimate destination being Queenborough Harbour.

Due to the size of the craft and the very poor conditions (wind SW force 8) it was only possible to make slow progress and the casualty was eventually secured in Queenborough at 0235am the following day where a team from the Sheppey Coastguard Rescue were waiting to take the man and his dog ashore to await an ambulance.

The crew of the ALB remained with the casualty craft to pump out quite a large amount of water that had been taken onboard due to the rough conditions during the tow.

It is believed the man had started his journey from Ipswich and was attempting to navigate up the Thames with his final destination being The Kennett and Avon Canal.

The ALB eventually arrived back on station at 0325am and after refuelling and cleaning down the crew finally left the station just after 4.00am.


Media Contacts

RNLI media contacts

Vic Booth RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer (Sheerness) 07926904453 / 01795 880544 /

Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer S.E. 07785296252

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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