Two RNLI lifeboat stations assist a Dutch cruiser in the Thames estuary
The Sheerness and Southend RNLI lifeboat crews launched to assist a Dutch cruiser in difficulties in the Thames estuary
The volunteer crew of the Sheerness all weather lifeboat The George and Ivy Swanson launched at 2.35am on Wednesday 2 May after a call from the UK Coastguard reported a 39-foot Dutch cruiser with one man on board had broken down and was at anchor reportedly one mile West of Southend Pier with a mobile phone as the only means of communication.
The Sheerness lifeboat arrived in the area given at 2.51am but was unable to get any visual sighting of the casualty and so proceeded to search up to Canvey Island.
With still no sighting a call was made to the UK Coastguard requesting they ask what was visible from the cruisers position.
In the meantime two white illumination flares were launched from the ALB, in the hope of getting a response, following which a flashing light was seen close inshore at the top end of ‘Ray Gut’ off Southend.
Due to there being insufficient water for the ALB to approach the casualty a call was made requesting the smaller Southend RNLI lifeboat be launched to attend the incident which it did and then towed the craft to deeper water and secured it on a mooring in the creek.
The Sheerness lifeboat was stood down at 4.37am and returned to station at 5.05am.
Wind was Southerly force 3 to 4
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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.