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Sheerness RNLI Lifeboat launched to rescue two Jet Skiers

Lifeboats News Release

The Sheerness RNLI launched to rescue two jet skiers in trouble after they had run aground in East Swale

The view from the lifeboat across the mud to the little speck in the distance which is the nearest Jet Ski

RNLI/Vic Booth

Mud Rescue

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness inshore lifeboat were tasked by the UK Coastguard on Friday 23 July 2021 to two jet skiers and their craft that were reported aground in East Swale in the area of No.10 Buoy.

The lifeboat launched at 4.41pm and arrived on scene at 5.05pm where one of the casualties was spotted approximately 220 yards across deep mud from their position. The second craft was located a further 200 yards or so further away.

With no access possible for the lifeboat a crew member made his way, cautiously and with difficulty, across the mud to the first casualty where he assessed the situation.

After consultation with the casualties and the lifeboat helm it was considered by all that it would be too dangerous to attempt to extract the casualties across the mud .With this in mind the crew member returned to the lifeboat where he reported that both persons were very cold and were wearing totally inadequate clothing. Other search and rescue assets were considered but found to be unavailable.

After further discussion with the UK Coastguard it was decided that two ‘mud technicians’ from the Sheppey Coastguard Rescue Team would attempt a rescue using their mud equipment. With the decision made the lifeboat returned to Kingsferry Bridge where the two Sheppey Coastguard members were taken onboard and ferried out to the casualties’ position.

With their equipment deployed the two Coastguards were able to safely reach the casualties who were then recovered back to the lifeboat with their jet skis being left in situ.

Having returned the two men back to Kingsferry Bridge into the care of the Sheppey Coastguard Rescue Team at 7.15pm the lifeboat then returned to collect the two very muddy ‘mud technicians’ and their equipment which was safely achieved at 7.35pm

The lifeboat was released from the incident and returned to station at 7.52pm and following a thorough cleaning and refuelling was ready for further service at 8.30pm.

Wind ENE F5.

Sheerness RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer Vic. Booth said: ‘this incident is another classic example of what happens when a fun trip out can turn into a dangerous situation not just for, in this case the jet skiers, but also for the members of the rescue teams who are tasked to rescue them. Incidents such as this are becoming increasingly more prevalent, but with more preparation could so easily be avoided if strict safety rules are followed. If you are going out on the water in or on whatever type of craft, before you go afloat 1, Check all safety measures are in place and that your craft is mechanically sound and has plenty of fuel .

2, Wear a lifejacket and appropriate clothing, even on hot sunny days the water is still cold and windchill is still a risk.

3, Carry a means of communication.

4, Tell someone ashore where you are heading and what time you expect to return.

5, Check the tide times and especially with jet skis,be aware of where the hazards such as sandbanks and mud flats are especially on an ebb tide in the area you are visiting.’


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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