Whitstable RNLI lifeboat called twice to assist motor cruiser

Lifeboats News Release

The Whitstable Atlantic 85 RNLI Lifeboat Lewisco was called to assist the same motor cruiser twice over the weekend.

Whitstable lifeboat tows the 30-foot motor cruiser away from the sea wall on the Sheppey side of The Swale opposite Ridham Dock to a mooring after the craft got into difficulties on Friday afternoon and again on Saturday morning. Picture: James Crane/Sheppey Coastguard.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Whitstable lifeboat tows the 30-foot motor cruiser away from the sea wall on the Sheppey side of The Swale opposite Ridham Dock to a mooring after the craft got into difficulties on Friday afternoon and again on Saturday morning. Picture: James Crane/Sheppey Coastguard.

The lifeboat was launched first on Friday afternoon at 2.50pm following a report from the UK Coastguard of a 30-foot vessel with engine failure moored to a buoy in The Swale near Ridham Dock just to the east of the Kingsferry Bridge.


On arrival at the scene the lifeboat crew found the craft to be aground with its anchor deployed. The lifeboat crew were informed by the two occupants, who also had two dogs onboard, that the vessel had suffered a failure of one engine and had lost steering. After a discussion both occupants opted to remain with their vessel to await the next tide and arrange a commercial tow. After giving safety advice the lifeboat was released from the incident and returned to station.


However on Saturday morning the lifeboat was launched again at 08.05am to the vessel which had now dragged its anchor in the force 6 winds and was 20-metres from the sea wall on the Sheppey side of The Swale opposite Ridham Dock.


The lifeboat arrived at 8.35am and the crew found the craft high and dry. The Sheppey Mobile Coastguard team in their mud rescue gear were also at the scene and the lifeboat stood by whilst they moved the motor cruisers anchor further down the mud bank towards the waterline.


The lifeboat remained at the scene until the casualty vessel refloated at around 11.15 but due to problems with the motor cruisers winch the vessel was unable to pull on her anchor to gain deeper water. Therefore a tow line was attached and the lifeboat took the craft under tow to a mooring off Conyer Creek from where the occupants were taken ashore by a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) from the Swale Marina.


The lifeboat then returned to station arriving back at the boathouse at 1.15pm having been dealing with the incident for around five hours.


The weather conditions during the two calls were south westerly force 4-5 winds on Friday and force 6 winds on the Saturday morning.


There have now been 22 calls on the Whitstable volunteer lifeboat 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: (07786) 668825 Paul_Dunt@rnli.org.uk



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



Seen from the Whitstable lifeboat, members of the Sheppey Mobile Coastguard team wearing mud rescue gear reposition the anchor from the motor cruiser aground near the sea wall on the Sheppey side of The Swale opposite Ridham Dock on Saturday morning. Picture: Dave Parry/RNLI Whitstable.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Seen from the Whitstable lifeboat, members of the Sheppey Mobile Coastguard team wearing mud rescue gear reposition the anchor from the motor cruiser aground near the sea wall on the Sheppey side of The Swale opposite Ridham Dock on Saturday morning. Picture: Dave Parry/RNLI Whitstable.
Whitstable lifeboat alongside the motor cruiser after it had been placed on a mooring off Conyer Creek on Saturday morning. Picture: Adrian Woolrich-Burt/RNLI Whitstable.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Whitstable lifeboat alongside the motor cruiser after it had been placed on a mooring off Conyer Creek on Saturday morning. Picture: Adrian Woolrich-Burt/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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