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‘Mary Poppins’ refuses to move from Dead Man’s Island for the Sheerness RNLI lif

Lifeboats News Release

Sheerness RNLI lifeboat crew were unable to tow a yacht to safety after it ran aground in the Medway estuary

The yacht is sitting high and dry on the island to hopefully be refloated on the next high tide.If it is not possible to get the yacht off on this tide it will be quite a while before the tides are high enough to make further attempts

RNLI/Vic Booth

'Mary Poppins' high and dry on Dead Man's Island

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat ‘Buster’ launched at 3.19pm on Sunday 8 October after a call from the UK Coastguard reported that a 22-foot yacht the ‘Mary Poppins’ with two men on board was hard aground on top of Dead Man’s Island in the Medway estuary close to Queenborough Harbour.

Whilst attempting to motor their yacht into the harbour in the early hours of Sunday morning on the high spring tide the craft had run hard aground on Dead Man’s Island which is close to the entrance to Queenborough harbour but some way from the deep-water access.

The ILB crew quickly located the craft and after having attached a tow line several attempts were made to pull the craft into deeper water without success. Even with assistance from a passing Sheerness Port workboat further attempts to refloat the craft were also unsuccessful.

Due to the rapidly falling tide the decision was taken by the ILB crew to secure the yacht with an anchor and abandon any further recovery attempts.

The two men were taken off their yacht and ferried to Queenborough Harbour where they were landed ashore.

Weather conditions at the time were excellent with a NW wind blowing force 3

The ILB returned to station at 4.45pm

It is believed the men will make their own arrangements to attempt to refloat the yacht on the next high tide.


Media Contacts

RNLI media contacts

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

Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer S.E. 07786668825

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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