Dungeness lifeboat in mid channel rescue
Dungeness and Eastbourne lifeboats were involved in a multi-agency rescue yesterday when an open rib with nine people on board was reported as being in difficulties 26 miles east of Sovereign Harbour.
Earlier in the day, Dungeness and Dover lifeboats, along with coastguard rescue helicopter 163 were tasked to search for the rib in the busy shipping lanes of the English Channel. Once located, the casualties who had been adrift all night in severe weather conditions were in need of urgent medical assessment so to avoid delay in towing the rib back to harbour it was decided to task Eastbourne lifeboat to assist. The casualties were transferred to Dungeness lifeboat, which then made best speed to Sovereign Harbour. Meanwhile Eastbourne lifeboat had arrived on scene and took the rib under tow. Unhindered by the speed restriction of towing another vessel Dungeness lifeboat arrived back at Sovereign Harbour first. The nine casualties were passed to waiting Border Force officers, police and ambulance personnel. Some time later Eastbourne lifeboat returned towing the abandoned rib.
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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, in a normal year, 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.