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Margate RNLI rescues kayaker off the north Kent coast

Lifeboats News Release

Margate RNLI has rescued the occupant of an inflatable kayak 13 miles offshore in the Thames Estuary.

Kayaker rescued in Thames Estuary by Margate RNLI (RNLI Margate)

RNLI Margate

Kayaker rescued in Thames Estuary by Margate RNLI (RNLI Margate)

UK Coastguard was contacted by Port of London Authority’s Vessel Traffic Service around 8.30am today (Wednesday 5 August) stating a container vessel outward bound from the river Thames had reported sighting an inflatable kayak with one person on board in the Knock John channel around 13 miles north west of Margate. With the distance offshore and a fresh south westerly wind there was concern for the craft’s safety and Margate’s RNLI all-weather lifeboat was tasked to investigate and if required provide assistance.

The lifeboat quickly located the kayak close to its reported position and it was established that the occupant had set off from Leysdown-on-Sea, Isle of Sheppey the previous day to spend the night on the Knock John Tower, a war time fort some 13 miles out into the estuary. He was unable to board the tower and spent the night on his kayak but with the failure of the homemade stowage for his outboard motor encountered difficulty returning back to Leysdown, he had no means of calling for assistance. When the lifeboat found him the kayaker was in good health albeit rather cold and was taken on board the lifeboat along with his craft and landed at Margate into the care of Margate coastguard rescue team.

Peter Barker, Deputy Launching Authority, Margate RNLI said: ‘Kayaking in an inflatable kayak in open sea conditions 13 miles offshore can be particularly hazardous to say the least. There is a wealth of information of kayaking safety on the RNLI’s website, visit


RNLI Media contacts

· Peter Barker, RNLI Margate Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer 07974 064304 [email protected]

· Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (SouthEast), 0207 6207416, 07786 668825 [email protected]

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

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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 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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