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Margate RNLI rescues three people from sinking dinghy

Lifeboats News Release

Margate’s RNLI inshore lifeboat along with RNLI lifeguards have assisted three people in a small dinghy after their craft started taking in water off Westgate-on-Sea.

Margate RNLI inshore lifeboat 'Tigger Three' (RNLI Margate)

RNLI/Peter Barker

Margate RNLI inshore lifeboat 'Tigger Three' (RNLI Margate)

UK Coastguard received a 999 call this afternoon (Sunday 3 September) from the occupants of a small dinghy reporting they were taking in water and being blown out to sea off Westgate-on-Sea. The craft had no engine, no oars and no anchor and no means of attracting attention other than a mobile phone.

The inshore lifeboat along with the RNLI lifeguard rescue water craft (RWC) from Margate Main Sands were tasked to assist. The lifeboat arrived on scene, around one mile offshore where the RWC was by now standing by the casualty vessel.

The three male occupants were taken on board the lifeboat and provided with protection from the cold. Their craft was taken in tow and returned to the beach at Epple Bay where they were handed into the care of local coastguard officers. The three occupants were unharmed after their adventure.

Peter Barker, deputy launching authority said: ‘An outboard engine, oars, anchor and means of attracting attention are essential equipment suitable for a small dinghy going to sea. Suitable protective clothing and lifejackets should also be worn. The occupants would soon have been out of the range of their mobile phone and they were lucky to be able to raise the alarm, a marine VHF radio and flares are also investments that could save your life.’


RNLI Media contacts

  • Peter Barker, RNLI Margate Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer 07974 064304

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

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

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