Sheerness RNLI lifeboat called to yachtsmen in trouble in the Medway estuary
The Sheerness all weather lifeboat was launched after reports of a yacht taking on water in the River Medway
The Sheerness RNLI all weather lifeboat The George and Ivy Swanson launched at 5.04pm on Tuesday 17 April after a call from the UK Coastguard reported that a yacht was taking on water at Upnor in the river Medway.
The ALB arrived on the scene at 5.40pm and found the yacht stuck fast with its mooring line and buoy underneath and fouled around its propeller and stern gear causing damage which had allowed a slow ingress of water.
A lifeboat crew member and a portable pump were put on board the yacht whilst two other crew members in the XP boat (a small inflatable craft carried on the ALB) tried unsuccessfully to release the ropes and buoy.
Being unable to release the yacht it was decided not to attempt to tow the vessel to avoid causing further damage.
The yacht was left secure with its crew members pumping out water as required and advised that a diving crew be called to free the snagged lines.
As the ALB was about to return to station a further call was received at 6.55pm that a man had fallen overboard from another yacht just upriver of the lifeboats present position.
Having quickly arrived at the location the crew found a man clinging to a small inflatable dinghy and recovered him from the water.
Two lifeboat crew members went on board his yacht, which was under tow from another vessel, and assisted in making it safe on a mooring.
The ALB was stood down at 8.08pm and was back on station at 8.32pm
Weather conditions at the time were good with calm seas but with a strong ebb tide running. Wind SSE force 5.
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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.