Sheerness RNLI lifeboat launched to assist a yacht in difficulties in the Thames
The Sheerness RNLI all weather lifeboat were tasked by the UK Coastguard at 12.29pm on Sunday 5 July to assist a 32-foot yacht suffering mechanical issues and with the prevailing weather conditions at the time was in difficulties close to the busy Sea Reach Channel in the Thames estuary.
The volunteer crew of the Sheerness all weather lifeboat, the George and Ivy Swanson, were tasked by the UK Coastguard to respond to a 32-foot yacht with three people onboard that was in difficulties in the Thames Estuary close to Sea Reach buoy number 7.
Having launched at 12.45pm with a crew of six the lifeboat located the casualty at 1.05pm. The yacht had been on route from Gravesend to Queenborough when it got into difficulties and was being shadowed by the Gravesend RNLI Atlantic 85 lifeboat which had initially been called to its assistance. With the arrival of the bigger Sheerness lifeboat on the scene a towline was passed to the yacht, which was then towed to the All Tide Landing at Queenborough Harbour, where it was secured at 2.28pm and its three occupants passed into the care of the Sheppey Coastguard Rescue Team.
The ALB returned to its mooring at 2.40pm where it was re-fuelled and made ready for service again. Weather cloudy, Wind WSW 6, visibility good.
Note for Editors:
Many people will want to visit the coast and participate in water-based activities such as swimming, kayaking, surfing, boating and angling. It is important that anyone visiting the coast understands the risk and takes the necessary steps to keep themselves safe. This will help reduce the demands placed on our lifeboat crews and other emergency services including HM Coastguard. In this way we can all work together to succeed in ensuring the coast is a safe place to visit.
We would urge anyone planning a visit to the coast to follow RNLI safety advice:
• Take care near cliffs - know your route and your limitations
• Have a plan - check the weather forecast and tide times
• If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and Float
• If individuals are choosing to go sailing or yachting it is important to ensure that
equipment is properly checked and serviceable before going afloat.
• In any coastal emergency dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.
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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.