Multi-agency search for swimmer off Margate
Two RNLI lifeboats, coastguard search teams and a coastguard helicopter have carried out an intensive search off the north east Kent coast following a report of a swimmer possibly in difficulties.
UK Coastguard was contacted by a member of the public at around 2pm today (Saturday 19 September) expressing concern for a swimmer seen to be entering the water at Botany Bay, around two miles east of Margate.
Margate’s RNLI inshore lifeboat along with Margate coastguard rescue team were immediately tasked to commence a search of the area, Margate’s all-weather lifeboat also launched to provide additional search capability and safety cover for the inshore lifeboat which was operating inshore close to the surf line in inclement weather conditions with a strong easterly breeze and moderate sea.
The coastguard rescue helicopter from Lydd Airport was exercising in the area and joined the search and along with the lifeboats, coastguard shore teams and Kent Police searched the coastline and secluded bays between Foreness Point and Botany Bay.
After around an hour of searching it was established that the call was a false alarm with good intent and the search was terminated, all units stood down to return to station.
Ian Lowe, Deputy Launching Authority, Margate RNLI said: ‘This weekend, forecast strong winds along with the spring tides made for the predicted rough seas. But as reported by the crew of the Inshore lifeboat, when close to shore in a protected bay you would not know it. It is just such conditions which pose a danger to swimmers who quickly can get into dangerous conditions only a short distance offshore. We would always prefer to launch to a false alarm with good intent than spend hours searching for a casualty in rough conditions when the person is eventually reported as missing. If you see anyone in danger on the coast or at sea dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.’
RNLI Media contacts
· Peter Barker, RNLI Margate Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer 07974 064304 firstname.lastname@example.org
· Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (SouthEast), 0207 6207416, 07786 668825 email@example.com
· 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.