Major search off Thanet coast for possible missing kite surfer
An intensive search was carried out last night after a kite surfing rig was spotted adrift off the north east Kent coast.
UK Coastguard received several calls from members of the public around 7pm last night (Saturday 27 July) reporting a kite surfing rig drifting seawards off Botany Bay around two miles east of Margate. There were no indications of anyone being with or close to the rig.
Both the inshore and all-weather RNLI lifeboats from Margate were tasked to investigate along with the coastguard rescue helicopter from Lydd Airport and Margate coastguard’s Coast Rescue Team.
An intensive air, sea and shoreline search was carried out between North Foreland to the east and Westgate-on-Sea to the west up to two miles offshore allowing for the influence of wind and tide.
After around three hours, and with no further information as to the origins of the rig forthcoming, UK Coastguard terminated the search and all units were released to return to station. The kite surfing rig was recovered by Margate’s all-weather lifeboat.
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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.