160-year-old sailing vessel towed to safety by Sheerness RNLI Lifeboat
An ancient fishing smack was towed to a safe mooring by the Sheerness RNLI Lifeboat after suffering mechanical failure off the Kent coast.
The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI all weather lifeboat the ‘George and Ivy Swanson’ launched at 11.10am on Tuesday 17 September after being tasked by the UK Coastguard to assist a 29-foot fishing smack, built in 1860, with mechanical problems. The craft was reported to be approximately 800 yards west of the Red Sands Towers and had two people onboard.
Having arrived on the scene the casualty was found close to Middle Sands, an area South of the original reported position. Both persons onboard reported they were ok and well so a line was passed and secured and their craft was taken under tow. As the fishing smack had been making for Oare Creek before encountering its problems the decision was made to tow it to a mooring off the creek to wait for a workboat from the boatyard to assist. The ALB was released and returned to station via the East and West Swale Channel arriving back on station at 2. 40pm.Wind N force 3
The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat ‘Buster’ have also been busy after a call from the UK Coastguard got them out of bed in the early hours of Wednesday 18 September. The ILB launched at 1.10am to reports of a 22-foot yacht with one man onboard that had fouled its propeller near to the West Nore Buoy in the Thames estuary. The casualty craft was towing another yacht that was unmanned.
The lifeboat was on the scene at 1.32am where a Pilot Cutter and a Kent Police RHIB were also in attendance with the casualty. The crew of the Police vessel said they were happy to tow both the yachts back to Queenborough Harbour with the agreement of the UK Coastguard. This was ok’d, the lifeboat was released and returned to station at 1.52am. Wind NNE 3
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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.