Littlestone Lifeboat two calls and two lives saved in one launch

Lifeboats News Release

The Littlestone RNLI inshore lifeboat was tasked on Thursday 5 September at 10.50am to a mother and son swept 1.2 miles out to sea while paddle boarding followed by a call to a fishing boat with rope around its propellers.

Photo of commerical vessel on tow to Dungeness with lifeboat in foreground.

RNLI/Heather Crittenden

Commercial vessel on tow to Dungeness

The female paddle boarder called 999 and asked for the Coastguard from her mobile phone after she and her four year old son found themselves in difficulties 1.2 miles east of Hythe (Kent) sea front after struggling to make it back to the beach.

Sea state: Choppy. Visibility: Good. Weather: Sunny. Wind NNW Force 3.

RNLI crew members quickly found the casualties in the water who were a little cold and wet but very pleased to see our volunteers who got them aboard the lifeboat. The crew then liased with the UK Coastguard to meet the RNLI lifeboat on Hythe beach and check over the two very thankful casualties. No medical attention was needed.

The crew started to head back to the station when another call came in at 12.10pm from the UK Coastguard regarding another incident involving a commercial fishing vessel that was snagged with fishing nets around its propeller just off Littlestone shore. The boat was easily spotted and the Littlestone Lifeboat was immediately tasked to assist.

After trying to cut the boat free of the nets, the volunteer crew made the decision at 12.25pm to tow the fishing boat to it’s home on Dungeness beach. After delivering the fishing boat and crew to the safety of the beach at 1.15pm the lifeboat returned to the station and was washed down a made ready for service.

Dean Miller boat helm said ' Luckily the female casualty had the means with her to be able to call for help and knew to call 999 and ask for the coastguard. They were very lucky today but did everything right to enable the lifeboat to assist them as quickly as possible and essentially save the lives* of herself and her son.'

*A life saved is a specific RNLI criteria which is decided after careful analysis of a range of criteria. A rescue is categorised as a life saved, where, if it weren't for the intervention of the RNLI, a person would most likely have died.

Notes to editors

How to stay safe when paddle boarding

Always tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back. Don’t leave the house without a mobile phone or communication device.

Check the weather forecast and tide times before you set out - they can change quickly.

Avoid offshore winds.

Always go with a friend.

Wear a suitable personal flotation device.

Wear suitable clothing for time of year.

Always wear your leash and hold onto your board if you get into trouble - it will help you float.

Always make sure you launch and recover between the black and white chequered flags.

Consider other water users by learning the rights of way in the surf. This can save you and others getting injured.

Get the appropriate level of training.

RNLI Media contacts

· Gavin Munnings, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Littlestone Lifeboat Station on 07568 719991 or [email protected]

· Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East), 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 [email protected]


· 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 News Centre.

Key facts about the RNLI

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.

RNLI/Dean Miller

Paddle boarder with minor saved

RNLI/Gavin Munnings

Safety of the beach, mother and son with UK Coastguard

RNLI/Dean Miller

Boat returned home

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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.