Busy weekend brings 6 calls for Margate RNLI in two days
Hot weather, especially at weekends, combined with more people taking ‘staycation’ holidays is resulting in extra work for the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew as the lifesaving team at Margate found out this weekend.
It was an early start on Saturday (8 August) for the volunteers when at around 7.30am UK Coastguard received reports of two people shouting for help in the sea off Margate main sands. The lifeboat along with local coastguards were soon on scene and the male and female concerned were landed ashore where safety advice was passed on by coastguard officers. The pair were visitors from London and had spent the night on the beach.
Soon after 2pm the same day the inshore lifeboat investigated reports of a drifting dinghy off St Mildred’s Bay, the craft was too far out to be identified. The lifeboat identified the object as an inflatable unicorn and after searching the area for any possible occupants, returned to station.
Also on Saturday at around 3pm the inshore lifeboat and Margate coastguards were called out again following a report of a capsized craft and swimmers in difficulty off Kingsgate Bay. The swimmers made their own way ashore and a search of the area found no craft.
Around 4.15 on Sunday a kayaker was reported to be in difficulties near the Copperas buoy off Herne Bay, Whitstable lifeboat was busy on other calls and Margate’s inshore lifeboat was tasked. The incident was concluded after it was established a passing speed boat has rescued the kayaker and landed him ashore.
Just an hour later the inshore lifeboat was launched to assist a male who was ‘tombstoning’ off Margate harbour arm. He had reportedly hit the wall and injured his head and arms and had been in the water for some 20 minutes. The lifeboat picked him up and landed him ashore and into the care of the ambulance service.
Finally on Sunday, just before 8pm a deflated boat was washed up on Margate main sands. With concern for any possible occupants local coastguard officers joined the coastguard rescue helicopter from Lydd Airport in a shoreline and close inshore waters search. Margate’s inshore and all-weather lifeboat stood by at immediate readiness and the search was called off when the occupants were found at Margate railway station.
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.