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Four men rescued by Ramsgate lifeboat crews in atrocious weather conditions

Lifeboats News Release

Two lifeboats were launched from Ramsgate lifeboat station this morning (April 30) at 11.25am following a report from a fishing boat that an unknown number of people had been swept into the sea off the East Pier while walking around the harbour.

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When the Ramsgate inshore lifeboat and its volunteer crew approached the area, a windfarm boat was on the scene and a man was spotted in the water holding onto a ladder by the harbour wall. The crew of the windfarm boat then alerted the RNLI crew to a second man who was difficulty in the water behind their vessel.

The lifeboat crew rescued the man from the water, who was in more urgent need, and then returned to the man on the ladder. He was also rescued and then both men were returned in the lifeboat to the lifeboat station, to be treated by paramedics.

As they were being put ashore one of those who had been rescued said that a third man had also been with them at the time they were swept off the pier. The lifeboat crew returned to the scene with paramedics on board and discovered another man who had not ended up in the water, but had been swept along the top of the pier. He had suffered injuries and was now sitting up by the Harbour Brasserie restaurant on the harbour wall.

The lifeboat crew were able to access the pier by boarding the windfarm boat and were then able to rescue the man using a stretcher. He was taken on board the windfarm boat which brought him back to the lifeboat station while being treated by paramedics. Once back at the station he was airlifted to hospital.

It’s understood that a fourth man, not part of the original group, had found himself cut off on the lower landing level of the pier by the severe weather conditions. He was also rescued by the inshore lifeboat with the crew again accessing the pier using the wind farm vessel as a ladder. He was returned to the lifeboat station uninjured.

On returning to station the Ramsgate lifeboats then immediately relaunched following reports of wind surfers in difficulty, but it transpired they had been able to make their way safely to shore without assistance and the lifeboats returned to the station.

Weather conditions on the coast at Ramsgate today are being described as ‘atrocious’ with waves breaking over the harbour wall and people are being urged to respect the water and keep away from the area while the current weather conditions continue.

RNLI media contacts

Karen Cox, Volunteer RNLI Press Officer, Ramsgate on 07779 848431

Paul Dunt, RNLI Regional Media Officer (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207416, 07785 296252

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, 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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