Sailor 'airflifted' from yacht by Southend RNLI's hovercraft

Lifeboats News Release

Southend-on-Sea’s volunteer RNLI crew launched the station's search and rescue hovercraft from the inshore boathouse at 5.18pm this afternoon (Thurs Sept 12) to a yachtsman who had broken his leg while aboard his vessel in Smallgains Creek.

The hovercraft crew made best speed over the falling tide to Canvey Island where they found the sailor in the cabin of his boat.

He was lifted aboard the hovercraft and taken to Island Yacht Club where he was handed over to waiting paramedics and Coastguards. The hovercraft then returned to station to refuel and for a wash down.

RNLI media contacts

  • Brian Wood - Southend Lifeboat Station Volunteer Assistant Lifeboat Press Officer.
  • Paul Dunt - Regional Media Officer (South East) on 0207 620 7426, 07785 296252.
  • 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.

Photograph showing Southend's inshore lifeboat station with hovercraft and D-class lifeboat outside.


Southend inshore lifebaot station.

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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.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.