Sheerness RNLI lifeboats launched in dense fog
Both the Sheerness RNLI Lifeboats were tasked to search for a 22ft craft, with three men onboard that had become ’disorientated’ in dense foggy conditions
The volunteer crews of the Sheerness RNLI lifeboat were tasked at 4.02am on Monday 7 December by the UK Coastguard to locate and assist a vessel with three men on board, one of whom was reported to be suffering badly from the cold.
The casualty vessel had initially gone aground in the vicinity of Bee Ness Buoy in the River Medway and when it re-floated on the rising tide the three men became totally disorientated in the dense and heavy fog that was blanketing the whole area at the time.
The Sheerness all-weather lifeboat, The George and Ivy Swanson, with a crew of six and the inshore lifeboat, Buster, with a crew of three both launched at 4.15am.
With the all-weather lifeboat using its DF (directional finding) equipment the casualty’s position was soon confirmed and both Lifeboats were on scene at 4.45am.
The inshore lifeboat crew took the man who was suffering from the cold onboard, and then transferred him to the ALB where its crew assisted in his recovery.
In the meantime a crew member from the ILB was placed onto the casualty vessel to take over the helm and shortly afterwards the two Lifeboats plus the casualty vessel made their way back to the Lifeboat Station in Sheerness Docks, where they arrived at 5.15am.
The Sheppey Coastguard Rescue Team had also been tasked and were waiting at the lifeboat station to take over the care of the three men once they were safely ashore.
Both Lifeboats were then washed down, the ILB was also refuelled, and both were ready for further service at 6am.
Weather: - Wind WSW 5-7knots, sea state calm, visibility - thick fog.
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.