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Littlestone RNLI lifeboat tasked to two people stuck in mud with a rising tide

Lifeboats News Release

On Thursday afternoon August 14 at 4.07pm our volunteer lifeboat crew were paged to assist the UK Coastguard after it was reported that two people were in difficulty in the water off Dymchurch beach and possibly stuck in mud.

Photo showing crew member on board the RNLI lifeboat and HM Coastguard helicopter taking off from the beach.

RNLI/Peter Leigh

A multi-agency rescue: Coastguard helicopter 163 taking off from Dymchurch Beach.

With the crew aware of the rising tide this shout would be time critical. Sea state was slight, wind force 3 with good visibility.

Our volunteer crew of Peter Leigh (Helm), Ryan Wicken (Crew) and Richard Prior (crew) launched the lifeboat and were quickly at the scene along with Coastguard helicopter 163 hovering overhead it was established that the two casualties had already made it back to the safety of the shore. It was decided that a crew member would go ashore and assess the casualty.

After a short consultation Ryan along with the Coastguard staff at the scene decided it would be best to have a Coastguard paramedic from the Helicopter 163 do a further assessment of the casualty as a lot of sea water had been swallowed and cold was setting in.

After the lifeboat crew, Kent Police and the Coastguard on the ground had cleared the beach, the helicopter landed and a paramedic attended the casualty until an ambulance arrived and the casualty was then handed over to the ambulance crew. While this went on the Coastguard helicopter had to take off as the rising tide was nearing the landing gear.

To save disrupting the beachgoers again, the Coastguard paramedic joined our crew on the Fred Clarke Atlantic 75 lifeboat and once formed up was winched back onto the helicopter and away.

RNLI Lifeboat Helm Peter Leigh said:

‘Really proud of the crew today including shore crew. A text book exercise in multi service rescue operations with a good outcome all round ’

Just before this all happened the Littlestone crew had been asked to collect and tow in an inflatable boat that had slipped from the beach so after a short time it was found and bought back to the lifeboat station and pulled up the beach by the RNLI tractor.

The RNLI lifeboat was recovered and made ready for service.

If you see someone in trouble in water while visiting our beaches, never hesitate to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard as you really could be saving somebody's life.

Notes to editors


1. Coastguard 163 Helicopter taking off from Dymchurch beach

2. Covid secure volunteer crew

3. Coastguard paramedic about to be lifted by the helicopter

4. Littlestone RNLI lifeboat towing in the inflatable boat

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Gavin Munnings, RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer on 07568 719991 or email [email protected] or Paul Dunt, RNLI Regional Media Manager on 07785 296252 or RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789.

Photo of the Coastguard paramedic on board the lifeboat about to be lifted to the Coastguard helicopter.

RNLI/Peter Leigh

Coastguard paramedic about to be lifted to the HM Coastguard helicopter.
The Littlestone crew wearing full protective equipment during the Covid-19 pandemic.

RNLI/Peter Leigh

The Littlestone crew wearing full protective equipment during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Littlestone Lifeboat towing the inflatable.

RNLI/Peter Leigh

The Littlestone Lifeboat towing the inflatable.

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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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.