Five incidents in 24 hours end a busy week for the Sheerness RNLI Lifeboats

Lifeboats News Release

Both the Sheerness lifeboats have been called out to a variety of incidents over the past 24 hours ending what has been a busy week for the RNLI volunteers.

The inshore lifeboat (ILB) ‘Buster’ launched with a crew of three at 6.05pm on Friday 22 May after being tasked by the UK Coastguard to reports of a small tender with one man onboard that was in difficulties near the Kingsferry Jetty in the Swale. Having arrived at the given location at 6.38pm and with nothing found an update was received giving further information that the casualty was located further East in the area of Dam Head Creek. The crew located the casualty at 6.55pm and whilst dealing with this incident a priority call was put through to the ILB from the UK Coastguard directing the crew to head to Gillingham Strand to assist in a multi-agency incident taking place there. Whilst still on route to Gillingham the crew received a call at 7.20pm informing that they stand down as this incident had been resolved. The ILB immediately turned around and headed back to assist the man in the first incident. Having arrived back at Dam Head Creek and with tidal conditions now unfavourable the man was taken onboard the lifeboat and brought back to the lifeboat station and taken ashore at 8.55pm.

Wind SSW 22-25knots.

Whilst the ILB was attending to these incidents another call was made from the UK Coastguard at 7.09pm tasking the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) ‘George and Ivy Swanson’ to assist a 20-foot Dayboat that was in difficulties off Garrison Point after having mechanical problems. Having launched with a crew of five the ALB quickly located the casualty craft which was then taken under tow to the all tide landing in Queenborough Harbour where it was safely secured at 8.05pm.

The ILB crew were back in action again at 10.08am on Saturday 23 May after being tasked by the UK Coastguard to assist in another multi-agency incident, this time on Sheppey. With the incident reported as resolved the ILB was stood down and returned to station at11.55am. After refuelling and cleaning down the ILB was ready for further service.

Having literally just left the boathouse the ILB crew were paged once again at 1.44pm with the UK Coastguard requesting the ILB launch to assist a Kite-Surfer reported to be in trouble in the area of Kingsnorth Jetty and Hoo Island in the River Medway. In worsening conditions with heavy squalls of rain and hailstones the ILB made best speed to the area given. At 2.15pm the UK Coastguard sent the ILB a message reporting the Kite-surfer was now ashore and the crew could stand down.

The ILB was back on station at 2.45pm. Wind WSW force 6-7 sea state ‘interesting’.

Sheerness lifeboat coxswain Robin Castle said : ‘these calls all fortunately ended safely for all involved but with weather conditions changing literally within minutes the outcome for all involved could have been a lot worse. Before going out on the water check the weather forecast for the area and make sure your craft and all it’s mechanics and equipment are 100%. Do not go out without any form of communication should you get into difficulties’

Ends

Media contacts:

Vic Booth RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer (Sheerness) 07926904453 / 01795 880544 / vic_booth@rnli.org.uk

Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer S.E. paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk 07786668825

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 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.

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