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Five more callouts in 24 hours for the Sheerness RNLI Lifeboat crews

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crews of the Sheerness RNLI Lifeboats have once again been tasked to five incidents in a 24-hour period by the UK Coastguard. A number of these calls could have ended with serious consequences for those involved without the help of the lifeboat crew and the other emergency services.

The Sheerness ILB undertaking the rescue of the kayak.

Sheerness RNLI

The Sheerness ILB undertaking the rescue of the kayak.

The first call came in at 5.37pm on Thursday23 July 2020 when the Sheerness relief fleet D class inshore lifeboat ‘Ole Schroder’ was tasked by the UK Coastguard to respond to reports of a broken-down jet ski with 2 persons onboard in the vicinity of the Shingle Bank beach, Minster.

Launching at 5:51pm with a crew of 3 onboard the Lifeboat was stood down at 5:53pm when it was confirmed by the Uk Coastguard that Sheppey Coastguard Rescue Unit had confirmed the jet ski and its 2 occupants were now ashore and in their care.

The ILB returned to Station at 5:55pm and was made ready for service.

Weather – Part cloudy, Wind SW16-20 knots, sea state slight, visibility good.

The ‘Ole Schroder’ was tasked again by the UK Coastguard at 8:03pm to assist an inflatable kayak with 2 persons onboard who were cold and wet, one of whom was potentially hypothermic after their craft had partially deflated and become unstable.

The kayak was reported to be located in between numbers 24 and 26 buoys on the River Medway where it was now stranded on a mud bank due to the ebbing tide.

Having launched at 8:17pm with a crew of 3 on board the Lifeboat was on scene at 8:31pm where they found the kayak with its 2 occupants and as reported one was suffering badly from the cold.

A crew member quickly made his way across the mud to the vessel and attached a line from the ILB which enabled the kayak and its occupants to be slid safely across the mud to the water’s edge. The two occupants were then quickly transferred to the ILB and taken to Gillingham Marina where they were handed into the care of the Medway Coastguard Rescue team and a Kent Ambulance crew who had been requested to attend.

The lifeboat crew then returned to collect the partially deflated kayak which would have drifted on the next high tide and become a hazard, resulting in further calls to the UK Coastguard.

The lifeboat was released from the incident at 9:05pm , returning to station at 9:35pm. After a thorough cleaning of the lifeboat plus the crew and all equipment the Lifeboat was ready for service again at 10:20pm.

Weather - part cloudy, Wind SW 13-15 knots, sea state smooth, visibility good.

At 8.49pm, shortly after the inshore lifeboat had launched to the kayak the crew pagers went off again, this time calling out the crew of the all-weather lifeboat, ’The George and Ivy Swanson’ which was tasked by the UK Coastguard to a 36’ yacht with four people onboard and located 4.3 nautical miles at a bearing of 070 degrees from Leysdown, in the Thames Estuary. The yacht had reportedly had its sails ‘blown out’ and was having problems with an overheating engine.

Having launched at 9:05pm with a crew of 6 the ALB located the casualty at 9:43pm. A towline was prepared and passed to the casualty vessel which was then towed back to Queenborough all tide landing where it was safely secured at 10.50pm. Having been released from the incident the lifeboat was back on station at 12.03am.

Weather at launch site part cloudy, Wind WSW 10-11 knots, sea state calm, visibility good.

The following day at 8.16pm the inshore lifeboat was tasked at 20:16 to reports of a person in the water at Rochester on the River Medway.

Launching at 8:30pm with a crew of three on board the lifeboat was informed by the UK Coastguard that the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter had also been tasked to attend the incident. At 8:45pm it was confirmed by the UK Coastguard that the person had subsequently been recovered from the water at Gas House Point, Rochester and was in the care of the Medway Coastguard Rescue Team and a Kent Ambulance crew.

The lifeboat and Rescue helicopter were both released from the incident.

The ILB returned to Station at 9:00pm and was refuelled and made ready for service

Weather part cloudy, Wind SW 12-15knts, sea state calm, visibility good.

With some of the crew still at the station preparing to return home the UK Coastguard paged the ILB crew again at 9:30pm to respond to reports of a dinghy in the vicinity of Hoo Island, in the River Medway, that had been seen with three people on board and was thought to be in need of assistance.

Launching at 9:42pm with a crew of three the ILB arrived on scene at 10:00pm.

With the tide Ebbing and less than an hour to low water the ILB crew searched along the Northern side of Hoo Island and along Middle Creek, as far as they could safely navigate, with nothing untoward found.

Relocating to the Southern side of the Island the ILB launched a white parachute flare to illuminate the area, again nothing was seen. The Coastguard Rescue Helicopter, which had also been tasked for the second time that evening, arrived on scene and began a FLIR (forward looking infra-red) search of the entire area which again revealed nothing so the decision was made to release the lifeboat and the helicopter at 11.20pm

The ILB returned to Station at 11:55pm, refuelled and made ready for further service. Weather. Part cloudy, Wind S 7-9 knots, sea state calm, visibility good.

RNLI Media contacts:

Vic Booth RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer (Sheerness) 07926904453 / 01795 880544 / [email protected]

Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East), 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 [email protected]

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

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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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