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Two Rescued by Whitstable Lifeboat after Dinghy Overturns Off Reculver

Lifeboats News Release

Two anglers had to be rescued in a joint operation involving lifeboats from Whitstable and Margate, the Herne Bay Coastguard Rescue Team and the South East Coast Ambulance Service after their 14-foot dinghy was overwhelmed by a wave off Reculver between Herne Bay and Birchington today (June 20).

The Whitstable Atlantic 85 Lifeboat Lewisco was launched at 8.52am after the UK Coastguard received a report from a person onshore who had spotted the anglers in distress. The location of the casualties was also confirmed by a passing yacht which was approximately 1-mile from the casualties but unfortunately on the wrong side of a sandbank and unable to reach them.

The Whitstable Lifeboat located the casualties almost immediately after arriving in the area. Helmsman Dave Parry said: 'The two men, one aged 74 and the other believed to be in his 60's were in the water holding onto their upturned craft and we brought them onboard the lifeboat. They were both extremely cold and managed to tell us they had been in the water for around two and a half hours.

Both were wrapped in thermal blankets and were proceeded to land them at the Neptune Slipway where the ambulance service and coastguard were waiting. In the meantime the Margate 'All-Weather' lifeboat arrived to recover their dinghy'.

'It was very fortunate that we arrived when we did and given their condition the outcome may have been very different and it was fortunate that both the 'first' informant on shore and the yacht spotted and confirmed their position'.

Whitstable Lifeboat Operations Manager Mike Judge said “ The two were very lucky to survive the incident and it shows the value of people reporting what they see to the emergency services'.


Picture caption:

The scene at the Neptune Slipway, Herne Bay after Whitstable Lifeboat landed two anglers ashore into the care of the ambulance service and the coastguard after they had spent over two hours in the water following the overturning of their dinghy on Wednesday morning. Picture: RNLI Whitstable.

Other information:

Crew: Dave Parry (Helmsman, Andy Williams and Ruth Oliver.

Launchers: Andy Clarke (Tractor) Michael Coulson-Tabb and Ray Davies.

Weather conditions: South Westerly force 3 winds. Sunny.

Note to Editors:

Whitstable RNLI Lifeboat Station was established in 1963 by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and is one of 237 lifeboat stations around the shores of the UK and Ireland. The volunteer crews provide a maritime search and rescue service for the Kent coast. They cover the area between the Kingsferry Bridge on the Swale, in the west, around the south-eastern side of Sheppey and along the coast through Whitstable and Herne Bay to Reculver in the east and outwards into the Thames Estuary.

The station is equipped with an Atlantic 85 lifeboat named Lewisco, purchased through a bequest of a Mrs Lewis of London who passed away in 2006.

She is what is known as a rigid inflatable inshore lifeboat, the boat’s rigid hull being topped by an inflatable sponson. She carries a crew of four people.

RNLI media contacts

  • Chris Davey, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Whitstable Lifeboat Station.
    07741 012004/

  • Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer London/southeast/east Tel: 0207 6207416 Mob: (07786)

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

RNLI online: For more information on the RNLI please visit News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre.

The scene at the shore as the anglers are passed into the care of ambulance staff


The scene at the shore as the anglers are passed into the care of ambulance staff
The emergency services on standby for the lifeboat to arrive


The emergency services on standby for the lifeboat to arrive

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