Margate RNLI investigates cries for help

Lifeboats News Release

Margate RNLI has taken part in a multi-agency search after cries for help were heard at Margate harbour.

Margate RNLI inshore lifeboat 'Alfred Alexander Staden' (RNLI Margate) (3)

RNLI Margate

Margate RNLI inshore lifeboat 'Alfred Alexander Staden' (RNLI Margate) (3)

UK Coastguard received a 999 call from a member of the public at around 5am this morning (Sunday 1 March) reporting hearing cries for help coming from the area of Margate harbour.

A major search got underway involving Margate’s RNLI inshore lifeboat, the coastguard rescue helicopter from Lydd airport, Coastguard Rescue Teams from Margate and Herne Bay and units from Kent Police.

An area around Margate harbour was searched including the use of parachute illuminating flares and the helicopter’s FLIR (forward looking infra-red) camera and apart from an item of clothing found on the main sands the search had negative results.

The area of search was extended to include the coast between St Mildred’s Bay Westgate and Winter Gardens to the east and after around an hour and a half of searching in improving light conditions with nothing found and no further reports the search was called off the call being considered a false alarm with good intent.

Nick Smith, Deputy Launching Authority, Margate RNLI said: “We are grateful for the report and particularly that the first informant remained on scene until the arrival of coastguard officers. If anyone sees or hears anything unusual on the coast or at sea, they should dial 999 and ask for coastguard.”

ENDS

RNLI Media contacts

· Peter Barker, RNLI Margate Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer 07974 064304 peter_barker@rnli.org.uk

· Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (SouthEast), 0207 6207416, 07786 668825 paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk

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

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