Three shouts in one day for Ramsgate RNLI volunteers

Lifeboats News Release

Thursday 23 July was a lovely sunny day attracting many people to the seaside but sadly for some it was a day that they will remember for a long time.

Photo of the Ramsgate inshore lifeboat 'Claire and David Delves' towing the yacht.

RNLI/Emma Sutton

The Ramsgate inshore lifeboat 'Claire and David Delves' towing the yacht.
The first launch for Ramsgate RNLI was at 1.29pm when the inshore lifeboat was launched to a local fisherman who had been out in his angling boat fishing along the back of the Southern Breakwater at Ramsgate Harbour.

He was attempting to haul in his anchor, lost his footing and went over the side, thankfully he was wearing a life jacket which immediately inflated.

The tide was running hard at four knots and swept him onto the rocks which make up the Breakwater. He was able to clamber over them and into the relatively calm, sheltered waters of the Port turning circle.

The inshore lifeboat recovered him from the water and placed a member of their own crew into his fishing boat to assist his fellow novice crew in bringing back the vessel into the harbour. The casualty was cold, tired and wet but very grateful to the volunteer crew.

On returning to station the crew were met by the Dock Masters who were concerned about a yacht that had radioed up three hours before.

A call had been made to HM Coastguard three hours previously by a yacht on passage to Ramsgate that had suffered engine failure. However they had decided to sail onto Ramsgate and arrangements had been made for a Harbour boat to bring them into the Harbour and assist them in berthing.

However communications had been poor as they were also having issues with their radio and the boat was overdue. After discussions with Port Control and HM Coastguard the inshore lifeboat set off to find the yacht at 1.45pm and found that it had overshot Ramsgate and was in Stone Bay, Broadstairs.

A rope was passed to the casualty and the yacht towed safely back to Ramsgate, staying close inshore to avoid the fast moving tide.

Later the same day at 5.59pm the inshore lifeboat was once again launched by the Coastguard to a report of two children in an inflatable kayak by Sandwich Bay swept out to sea, with their mother attempting to swim out and reach them.

On scene the inshore crew found the children to be alright and safe for the time being, so immediately went to the aid of mother, who was struggling and had swallowed sea water. She was taken onboard the inshore lifeboat.

They then returned to the kayak and got the two children aboard and then returned the reunited family to the beach, where they were handed over to Deal mobile Coastguard so that the mother could be assessed as she was coughing due to water intake and was cold. Once again the volunteer crew returned to station.

Three very different stories but all of which highlight the need to be prepared and heed safety advise when heading to the seaside. Thankfully everyone was safe but all outcomes could have been very different, if the fisherman hadn’t been wearing a life jacket, if the Dock Masters hadn’t raised the alarm and if the children and their mother hadn’t been reached by the lifeboat crew.

Around 150 people die by accident each year in the U.K. with the lifeboat launching 9000 times in 2018. Without the support of the public the RNLI would be unable to continue their role of Saving Lives at Sea.

RNLI Media Contacts:

Karen Cox volunteer Ramsgate Lifeboat Press Officer Tel (07779) 848431 Email [email protected]

Paul Dunt, RNLI Regional Media Manager (07785) 296252 [email protected]

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.

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