Five men rescued by the Sheerness RNLI lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

Both Sheerness lifeboats launched to assist a yacht in trouble in the Medway estuary.

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat were called at 4.11pm on Sunday 10 September by the UK Coastguard to reports that a 25 foot yacht with five men on board was in difficulty off Nore Marsh in the Medway estuary.

With a South Westerly wind blowing force 6 gusting to force 9 conditions were deemed too hazardous for the ILB to proceed alone so the decision was made to launch the all weather lifeboat to provide safety cover.

The casualty craft was sighted at 4.45pm in Long Reach with the five man crew waving for assistance.

The ILB was manoeuvred alongside the yacht and the five men on board were removed and transferred to the ALB.

With the men safely on board the ALB a tow line was established and the yacht was towed to Queenborough Harbour where it was secured at 5.40pm and its crew members landed on the all tide landing into the care of the Sheppey coastguard rescue team.

Both lifeboats were back on station at 6.05pm

The all weather lifeboat was called out again at 5.35 pm on Monday 11 September after a call from the UK Coastguard reported a craft in difficulty off the Kingsnorth Jetty in the River Medway

Whilst on route a further unconfirmed report stated that the craft had been taken in tow by another vessel and was now in the area of Gillingham Reach.

The ALB located the two craft at 4.00pm and recognised the casualty vessel as the yacht from the previous day’s incident which had once again got into difficulties whilst trying to get to Gillingham Marina.

The ALB returned to station after standing by until the casualty was secured on a mooring at the marina.

The crew of the inshore lifeboat were called out again on Sunday 17 September at 9.58 pm after a call from the UK Coastguard gave reports that a man in a rowing boat was in a dangerous situation off Darnett Ness close to Gillingham.

The initial call to the UK Coastguard came after the crew of a large outbound dredger reported they had narrowly missed a man in a rowing boat who was trying to tow an 18 foot cruiser across the river with neither craft having any form of lighting or safety equipment visible.

Whilst the ILB was on route to the scene another large outbound craft also reported having narrowly missed the man who was now drifting in the main channel with no hope of making any headway whatsoever against the strong ebb tide.

Having made best speed to the reported area the crew of the ILB located the casualty at 10.30pm and took both craft under tow to Gillingham Strand where they were secured at approximately 11.20pm.The ILB was back on station at 11.55pm


Media contacts:

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

Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer S.E. 07786668825

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

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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