Drifting dinghies alert for Margate RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Margate RNLI has responded to reports of multiple dinghies drifting seawards off the north Kent coast.

Photo of the Margate RNLI inshore lifeboat 'Alfred Alexander Staden' at sea (library photo).

RNLI Margate

The Margate RNLI inshore lifeboat 'Alfred Alexander Staden' (library photo).

Around 4.30pm today (Friday 26 June) UK Coastguard received reports of three dinghies with a total of four persons on board drifting seawards from Minnis Bay, Birchington-on-Sea around four miles west of Margate. Swimmers and a kayak were reported to be attempting rescue.

Margate RNLI inshore lifeboat along with Margate Coastguard Rescue Team (CRT) were tasked to assist.

On arrival at the scene the lifeboat located an unmanned black inflatable ring and using this as a datum commenced a search of the area. Meanwhile the CRT made contact with the first informants who confirmed that the occupants of all craft involved had managed to return to shore safely.

The lifeboat returned to station, checking the bays on the way for any further dinghies that could be affected by the offshore wind.

Ian Lowe, Deputy Launching Authority, Margate RNLI said: “Inflatable dinghies are particularly dangerous and susceptible to being blown seawards in offshore wind conditions, we urge beachgoers to use extreme caution with these toys. Under no circumstances should people enter the sea to attempt the rescue of any that are being blown seawards, remain on shore, keep the dinghy in sight and dial 999 and ask for coastguard.”

Ends

Notes to editors

Margate lifeboat station has been operating since 1860. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeboat-stations/margate-lifeboat-station

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