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Lone sailor towed to safety

Lifeboats News Release

Sheerness RNLI lifeboat were called out to assist a yacht in trouble in the Medway Estuary

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat ‘Buster’ launched at 1.50pm on Sunday 24 September after a call from the UK Coastguard reported that a 19 foot yacht ‘Freewind’ with one man on board was in difficulty after suffering rudder failure.

Initial reports gave the yachts position as being approximately one and a half miles from the mouth of the estuary but further reports whilst the ILB was on route now gave the position as being North West of Garrison Point.

Having turned around the ILB finally located the casualty close to the Martello Tower off the Isle of Grain.

A tow line was attached and the craft was taken to Queenborough Harbour where it was secured on a mooring at 3.10pm and the man was landed ashore into the care of the Sheppey Coastguard rescue team.

Weather conditions in the estuary at the time were good with a NW wind blowing force 3

The ILB was back on station at 3.25pm


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 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 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