Margate RNLI lifeguards save three men from inflatables blown out to sea
On Sunday 21 June, RNLI lifeguards coming to the end of their shift saw three men heading into the sea to go fishing on inflatables without any buoyancy aids.
The orange windsock was flying as there was a strong offshore breeze, wave height was up to one metre and the tide was ebbing. Lifeguards advised the trio that they would be safer staying on the beach and explained the combined risks of those sea conditions.
The men continued into the water and, before long, had been blown almost a quarter of a mile out to sea from where they were struggling to return to shore. Fortunately, the lifeguards had kept an eye on the men with their binoculars and at 5.25pm were able to launch their rescue water craft (more often called a jet ski) to rescue the group. The men were cold and shocked that their situation had become so dangerous so quickly, but were otherwise unharmed.
One man was helped from the water onto the rescue water craft and the other two were towed back to the beach on their inflatable. The lifeguards informed HM Coastguard as one of the inflatables had been abandoned and they were conscious that there might be calls from concerned members of the public that the inflatable's owner had come to grief.
Lead Lifeguard Supervisor for Thanet & Swale, Lucy-Jane MacGowan, said: 'Although we're always glad to see a happy ending, we would ask visitors to our beaches to speak to lifeguards about the conditions, keep an eye on the flags and do what they can to keep themselves safe. It might be exciting to watch a rescue from the beach but if you're on the other end of it, it's not so much fun. Enjoy the water but please take care, and if it's not safe to go in, save your dip for another day. The sea isn't going anywhere!'
Julie Rainey, Regional Media Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org 07827 358256
RNLI Press Office: PressOffice@rnli.org.uk 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.