A busy end to the month for the Sheerness RNLI lifeboat crews.
The Sheerness RNLI lifeboat volunteers have been called out seven times to a variety of incidents in the space of a few days.
The crew of the inshore lifeboat launched at 11.55am on Tuesday 25 September after a request from the UK Coastguard for the lifeboat to stand by at the M2 bridge Rochester whilst Kent police removed a vulnerable person to safety. The lifeboat crew was stood down at 12.20pm after being advised the person was now safe.
The inshore lifeboat crew launched again at 2.09pm on Wednesday 26 September after a dinghy with three people on board capsized off Gillingham. Luckily for the people involved a Kent Police crew in their RHIB were close by and dealt with the incident and so the lifeboat crew were stood down.
Another call for the inshore lifeboat came at 00.08am on Friday 28 September when the UK Coastguard reported that a 27foot cruiser with two men, a lady and also a dog on board had run aground on Gillingham Spit after losing propulsion due to an engine problem. Having located the craft, which was now afloat the lifeboat crew attached a line and towed the craft to Queenborough Harbour where the Sheppey Coastguard team were in attendance. The ILB was back on station at 1.45am. Wind NW force 3 to 4.
A second call on the 28th from the UK Coastguard requested that the all-weather lifeboat be launched to a 15mtr yacht in trouble off the Essex coast.
The lifeboat launched into a fresh NE wind blowing force 6 to 7 with rough seas at 5.34pm and found the yacht, which had been on passage from Canvey Island to the River Crouch, drifting near to Blacktail Spit at 5.55pm. A crew member from the lifeboat was placed onto the casualty craft which along with the three people already on board was then towed to the safety of the Lower Camber in Sheerness Docks. The ALB was back on station at 8.00pm.
A third call on 28th came just as the ALB had returned to station after the previous ‘shout’ this time reporting that a person was in the water at St Marys Island, Chatham. The crew of the inshore lifeboat responded and were under way at 8.12pm, arriving at the location given at 8.39pm and along with the coastguard helicopter and shore-based coastguard teams, who had also been mobilised, began a search of the area. Whilst the search was being carried out further information was received that the person may actually be in the water in the Dockyard Basin at Chatham Docks. With no access for the lifeboat the helicopter and the shore-based teams proceeded to search this area and the lifeboat was stood down, returning to station at 9.45pm.
On Sunday 30 September the inshore lifeboat was launched at 11.10pm after a call from the South East Coast Ambulance service reported that a lady was injured on board a craft at Strood. Having made best speed, the ILB arrived on the scene at 11.45pm and removed the lady and another person from the craft and took them ashore to the waiting ambulance crew and also the Medway coastguard rescue team. The ILB was released and back on station at 00.45am. Wind NW force 5 to 6
To start off the new month the all-weather lifeboat was launched at 2.44am on Monday 1 October after a call from the UK Coastguard reported that a 7mtr yacht with contaminated fuel was in difficulties in the Medway Estuary. The Coastguard was also very concerned for the welfare of the man on board the craft who was in a poor state having had no sleep for more than 20 hours. The casualty craft was quickly located by the lifeboat crew tied to a commercial buoy at Black Stakes in the Medway. A line was attached and the vessel was towed to the Queenborough all-tide landing where the Sheppey Coastguard rescue team were waiting to meet them. The ALB was back on station at 3.50am. Wind NW force 5 to 6.
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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.