Southend RNLI’s hovercraft launched to a stranded jet ski
Southend on Sea volunteer lifeboat crews were paged at 4.07pm on Tuesday afternoon to reports of a jet ski going aground close to Deadman’s Island in the Swale.
HM Coastguard requested the assistance of the Southend RNLI hovercraft to assist the user of the craft which had gone aground on the mud flats. Once on scene, the volunteer crew onboard were able to retrieve the casualty and return them safely to shore where the local coastguard team was waiting.
Once the casualty was under the care of the coastguard, the hovercraft crew were then able to attach a tow line to the stranded jet ski and pass it to Kent Fire & Rescue Service for them to retrieve from the mudflats.
Southend RNLI is one of only four stations in the UK with a hovercraft. The unique asset is used throughout the year to help rescue casualties and tackle any incidents on the tidal mudflats in the Southend area which a boat would not be able to reach.
Graham Slack, volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager, said, ‘With the temperatures improving in recent weeks, we’re seeing an increase in people taking to the water for a variety of watersports. Southend RNLI and the volunteer crew would ask everyone to consider safety precautions carefully when entering the water, and to ensure they behave in a respectful and responsible way to ensure everyone’s safety. The charity’s volunteers are continuing to rescue anyone who finds themselves in difficulty.’The RNLI asks everyone to consider carefully the need to go to the beach, the coast or onto the water at this time. Even in these unprecedented times, our RNLI volunteers are still on duty 24/7 and ready to deploy at the sound of the pager.
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RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789
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.