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Disabled yacht assisted by Margate RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Margate’s RNLI all-weather lifeboat has assisted a yacht with two persons on board after their vessel became disabled north of Margate.

Around 1.30pm today (Monday 5 October) Kent Police received a 999 call from the occupants of an 8m yacht stating their craft was about 2km off Margate and had broken down and they required assistance. There were communication problems with the vessel both from a loss of phone signal and language difficulties and the information was passed to UK Coastguard for action.

A small craft was visible around five miles offshore from the lifeboat station near the Margate Sands and Margate’s coastguard rescue team was tasked to locate the casualty vessel visually after which Margate’s RNLI all-weather lifeboat was tasked to identify the vessel and provide assistance.

Once the lifeboat located the casualty it was established that it had suffered a total electrical failure and was indeed disabled, the two occupants were safe and well. It was not possible to rectify the problem and the craft was taken in tow to the safety of Ramsgate harbour where they were met by coastguard officers after which the lifeboat returned to station.

Peter Barker, Deputy Launching Authority Margate RNLI said: ‘The tasking was complicated by the casualty vessel relying on a mobile telephone as its means of communication, probably due to the electrical failure. Mobile phone coverage at sea is very poor and in this situation, a handheld battery-powered marine VHF radio, in addition to a fixed radio installation would have enabled reliable communication with the coastguard and other nearby vessels. If a mobile phone has to be used, dial 999 and ask for coastguard.’


RNLI Media contacts

• Peter Barker, RNLI Margate Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer 07974 064304 [email protected]
• Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (SouthEast), 0207 6207416, 07786 668825 [email protected]
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 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 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.