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Two calls in two hours for Margate’s volunteer lifeboat crew

Lifeboats News Release

It has been a busy day for the volunteers at Margate’s RNLI lifeboat station with a training exercise for the all-weather lifeboat and two calls for the inshore lifeboat

Sunday morning usually involves training for Margate’s lifeboat crew and while the all-weather lifeboat was exercising off North Foreland today (Sunday 18 October) UK Coastguard received a report of a small craft aground on rocks near Beresford Gap, Birchington-on-Sea, two miles west of Margate.

Margate coastguard rescue team (CRT) was tasked to investigate and found the vessel aground as reported and with concern that it may sustain damage upon refloating Margate’s RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched to assist. Once on scene the lifeboat established that the ten-foot long, outboard-powered angling dinghy had launched from Herne Bay the previous evening on a fishing trip and after running aground had spent the night on the rocks at Beresford Gap. The craft was towed clear on the rising tide by the lifeboat and once it was confirmed that the three occupants, who had travelled down from London with the boat on a trailer were unharmed, the dinghy returned to Herne Bay under its own power.

Shortly after the inshore lifeboat had returned and been made ready for service UK Coastguard received another call reporting a capsized dinghy with one person on the upturned hull around half a mile off Westgate-on-Sea. The inshore lifeboat was soon on its way again with Margate CRT also responding. The lifeboat quickly located the craft which was a sailing dinghy out for a morning’s sail from Margate. The vessel had capsized with its sails set and the sole occupant was able to maintain contact with the boat until the lifeboat arrived. The occupant was taken on board the lifeboat whereafter the dinghy was righted and towed back to Margate harbour, the occupant unharmed after his adventure. Margate Yacht Club’s safety boat was also launched to assist and escorted the convoy back to Margate.

Paul Hodson, Lifeboat Operations Manager, Margate RNLI said: ‘Fortunately we had a full complement of crew at the station and were able to respond quickly to both incidents while the all-weather lifeboat was on exercise in the area and able to provide back-up if required. With the onset of autumn now the sea and air temperature will be a lot lower than high summer so particularly with the second call, speed was of the essence.’

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.