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Concern for drifting yacht off Margate

Lifeboats News Release

Margate RNLI has investigated a report of a drifting yacht in the Thames estuary with concerns that its occupant could have fallen overboard.

The empty yacht under tow by Margate RNLI lifeboat (RNLI Margate)

RNLI Margate

The empty yacht under tow by Margate RNLI lifeboat (RNLI Margate)

An outward-bound roll on-roll off cargo vessel in the Thames estuary contacted Port of London Authority’s Vessel Traffic Service at Gravesend this afternoon (Monday 5 August) reporting they had sighted a drifting yacht in the Princes Channel off Margate.

It couldn’t be established with certainty if anyone was on board the vessel and with the possibility that a single-handed yachtsman may have fallen overboard the alert was passed to UK Coastguard who tasked Margate RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat to investigate.

The lifeboat located the yacht around ten miles north west of Margate and it was quickly established that the vessel was unmanned and likely to have broken adrift from its moorings. As it presented a potential hazard to navigation, and to avoid any subsequent sightings it was towed to the safety of Ramsgate harbour by the lifeboat where it was met by members of Margate Coastguard Rescue Team.

Ian Lowe, Deputy Launching Authority, Margate RNLI said: “We are grateful to the ship for reporting the drifting yacht, such occurrences are not unusual, but we would rather respond to a false alarm such as this than assume the best and be faced with the worst.”

ENDS

RNLI Media contacts

  • Peter Barker, RNLI Margate Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer 07974 064304 peter_barker@rnli.org.uk

  • Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (SouthEast), 0207 6207416, 07786 668825 paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk

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

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