Whitstable RNLI lifeboat assists Trawler

Lifeboats News Release

A 30ft fishing trawler and its two man crew were assisted by the Whitstable RNLI Atlantic 85 lifeboat Lewisco after the vessel encountered engine problems off the town on Sunday afternoon.

The Whitstable Atlantic 85 lifeboat Lewisco brings the 30-foot fishing vessel Simon Issac back to harbour after the craft suffered a blocked fuel filter off Whitstable on Sunday afternoon. Picture: Chris Davey/RNLI Whitstable.

RNLI/Chris Davey

The Whitstable Atlantic 85 lifeboat Lewisco brings the 30-foot fishing vessel Simon Issac back to harbour after the craft suffered a blocked fuel filter off Whitstable on Sunday afternoon. Picture: Chris Davey/RNLI Whitstable.

Brian Foad Skipper of the Whitstable based fishing vessel Simon Issac said ‘We were on our way to our fishing ground when we began to have engine problems 2.5 miles out and we were very pleased to see our local lifeboat arrive to give us a tow especially in the current situation”.


Whitstable lifeboat helmsman Mike Keam said ‘The Simon Issac was a heavy tow and fortunately we had calm conditions in which to operate. Both lifeboat and crew coped well and we soon had the vessel back alongside its berth in Whitstable harbour. It is always nice to be able to help out with our local fishermen’.


Other incidents for the lifeboat over the weekend occurred on Friday evening when the lifeboat was launched at 6.08pm to a report of a broken down Jet Ski off Tankerton. The lifeboat commenced a search of the area but nothing was found and following a report from another jet skier it was confirmed that the casualty craft had been towed back to Herne Bay and that all concerned were safe onshore.


Following this the lifeboat crew were flagged down by a small speedboat towing an inflatable ‘banana’ with three adults onboard which reported engine problems believed to be caused by seaweed. The lifeboat escorted the craft to Herne Bay where it, the banana and its occupants were seen safely ashore.


Later on Friday evening lifeboat crews were in action again following a report of three persons in the water near to the Whitstable Street approximately 100-metres offshore. Although there were numerous people in the area there were no signs or further reports of persons in distress and, as tide conditions prevented the lifeboat from approaching further inshore, the crew and boat were ‘stood down’ to return to station.


On Saturday the lifeboat was launched at 12.35pm to a report of 2 people in an inflatable waving for help off the Continental Hotel, Tankerton. After conducting a search of the area nothing untoward was found and the lifeboat returned to the harbour to be made ready for a planned exercise that afternoon.


Weather conditions over the weekend were light winds and a smooth sea state. There have now been 42 calls on the Whitstable lifeboat and its volunteer crews so far this year.

Notes to editors


Whitstable RNLI Lifeboat Station was established in 1963 by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and is one of 237 lifeboat stations around the shores of the UK and Ireland. The volunteer crews provide a maritime search and rescue service for the Kent coast. They cover the area between the Kingsferry Bridge on the Swale, in the west, around the south-eastern side of Sheppey and along the coast through Whitstable and Herne Bay to Reculver in the east and outwards into the Thames Estuary.


The station is equipped with an Atlantic 85 lifeboat named Lewisco, purchased through a bequest of a Miss Lewis of London who passed away in 2006.


She is what is known as a rigid inflatable inshore lifeboat, the boat’s rigid hull being topped by an inflatable sponson. She carries a crew of four people.

RNLI media contacts

  • Chris Davey, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Whitstable Lifeboat Station.
    07741 012004/ nativephoto@hotmail.com


  • Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer London/southeast/east Tel: 0207 6207416 Mob: (07785) 296252 Paul_Dunt@rnli.org.uk



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



Sign of the times, the crew of the Whitstable Atlantic 85 lifeboat Lewisco about to launch to the 30-foot fishing vessel Simon Issac after the vessel suffered a blocked fuel filter off Whitstable on Sunday afternoon. Picture: Chris Davey/RNLI Whitstable.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Sign of the times, the crew of the Whitstable Atlantic 85 lifeboat Lewisco about to launch to the 30-foot fishing vessel Simon Issac after the vessel suffered a blocked fuel filter off Whitstable on Sunday afternoon. Picture: Chris Davey/RNLI Whitstable.
The Whitstable Atlantic 85 lifeboat Lewisco about to launch to assist the 30-foot fishing boat Simon Issac after the vessel suffered a blocked fuel filter off Whitstable on Sunday afternoon. Picture: Chris Davey/RNLI Whitstable.

RNLI/Chris Davey

The Whitstable Atlantic 85 lifeboat Lewisco about to launch to assist the 30-foot fishing boat Simon Issac after the vessel suffered a blocked fuel filter off Whitstable on Sunday afternoon. Picture: Chris Davey/RNLI Whitstable.

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.

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