Dover's volunteer crew assist in rescuing two men from sinking catamaran
The immediate launch of Dover lifeboat 'City of London II' was requested by HM Coastguard at 6.55pm on Sunday 18 November to rescue two men stranded on a catamaran that was taking on water.
Under the command of Coxswain James Clapham, the volunteer crew quickly assembled and the all-weather lifeboat was swiftly underway within 10 minutes, to a position 1.5 miles south west of the Port of Dover.
In rough seas and challenging conditions, the Dover Harbour Patrol launch boat arrived on scene just a few minutes before Dover's Severn Class lifeboat to assist. The crew of the patrol boat managed to relieve the two occupants from the 30ft catamaran which had set out from Rye Harbour.
Meanwhile the lifeboat crew attempted to tow the sinking catamaran into the Port of Dover so it did not become a significant danger to navigation. Unfortunately with a 2.5m swell entering Dover’s western entrance, the catamaran foundered. Consequently the tow line was cut and the vessel was then guarded by Dover Harbour Patrol until it drifted into the recreational area where it eventually beached later that evening.
The men, aged between thirty and sixty were then taken to Dover Lifeboat Station to warm up with a hot cup of tea. Fortunately, apart from being a little wet and shaken, they required no medical attention.
Dover lifeboat was back alongside two hours after launching, where she was refuelled and readied for her next shout.
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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 237 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 180 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.Learn more about the RNLI
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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.
Key facts about the RNLI
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.