Whitstable RNLI lifeboat launched as speedboat runs out of fuel

Lifeboats News Release

A 19-foot speedboat with four occupants onboard had to be taken under tow by the Whitstable Atlantic 85 lifeboat Lewisco after the craft ran out of fuel off Herne Bay on Monday afternoon.

The 19-foot speedboat under tow by the Whitstable lifeboat after the craft ran out of fuel off Herne Bay on Monday afternoon.

Vicky Kypta/RNLI Whitstable.

The 19-foot speedboat under tow by the Whitstable lifeboat after the craft ran out of fuel off Herne Bay on Monday afternoon.
Whitstable lifeboat helmsman Rob Judge said 'The initial report was that the speedboat was a 1/2-mile off Hampton however we located the craft 800 yards offshore midway between Hampton and Herne Bay pier'.

The speedboat and its occupants aged between 20 and 35 were taken under tow and landed ashore at the slipway at Neptune Jetty'.

'Our advice is that people intending to go to sea should always make sure their craft are seaworthy, be aware of the fuel capacity and range, carry enough life jackets for all those onboard, carry an anchor and have suitable communication devices for use in an emergency'.

Weather conditions at the time were north easterly force 3 winds, a calm sea and excellent viability.

Additionally Whitstable lifeboat crews have been alerted twice to other incidents in the last five days. On Thursday evening the crew assembled ready to launch to a 18-foot fishing boat with five persons onboard broken down off Herne Bay however the launch was cancelled when the coastguard confirmed the craft had restarted its engine and was now ashore.

On Sunday evening the lifeboat was launched a 6.18pm to assist the two Margate lifeboats, coastguards and the coastguard helicopter from Lydd in a search for an overdue swimmer from Westgate. However Whitstable lifeboat was 'stood down' when it was reported that the casualty had been located safe onshore.

Notes to editors


Whitstable RNLI Lifeboat Station was established in 1963 by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and is one of 237 lifeboat stations around the shores of the UK and Ireland. The volunteer crews provide a maritime search and rescue service for the Kent coast. They cover the area between the Kingsferry Bridge on the Swale, in the west, around the south-eastern side of Sheppey and along the coast through Whitstable and Herne Bay to Reculver in the east and outwards into the Thames Estuary.


The station is equipped with an Atlantic 85 lifeboat named Lewisco, purchased through a bequest of a Miss Lewis of London who passed away in 2006.


She is what is known as a rigid inflatable inshore lifeboat, the boat’s rigid hull being topped by an inflatable sponson. She carries a crew of four people.

RNLI media contacts

  • Chris Davey, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Whitstable Lifeboat Station.
    07741 012004/ nativephoto@hotmail.com


  • Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer London/southeast/east Tel: 0207 6207416 Mob: (07785) 296252 Paul_Dunt@rnli.org.uk



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 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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