RNLI Lifeboat launched after a group of people, including children, became cut o
The group of about seven or eight were walking to the sandbanks at Minster Leas beach on The Isle of Sheppey only to be caught out by the speed of the rising tide
The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat Buster launched at 5.25pm on Saturday 5 June after being tasked by the UK Coastguard to reports from the public of people being ‘cut off’ by the incoming tide at The Leas, Minster.
The Coastguard Rescue helicopter from Lydd had also been mobilised but it was fortunately not needed as the Lifeboat crew were quickly on the scene, and along with the Sheppey Coastguard Rescue Team, observed whilst five people made their own way to the shore safely. The crew were then made aware of three more people further down the beach who were also in the same predicament but who needed assistance. The three were taken onboard the lifeboat and landed safely and un-harmed on the beach and passed into the care of the Sheppey CRT.
The ILB was stood down at 5.54pm and returned to station at 6.20pm Wind Easterly 2 to 3 knots with clear skies and calm seas
Sheerness RNLI Press Officer Vic.Booth said: ‘The group had walked out to the sandbanks and were unaware that the tide was coming in around them. The tide along this part of our coastline comes in really quickly and before you know it you have got water between yourself and the shore. The RNLI and the UK Coastguard urge everyone to check on the tidal conditions before beginning any type of activity along the coast. This incident proves how dangerous just a simple paddle in the sea can become a nightmare in just a matter of minutes. Fortunately, this incident had a positive outcome but things could have rapidly escalated without observant members of the public and the speedy response of the Sheerness Lifeboat crew and the Sheppey Coastguard Team. Please enjoy our beautiful coastline and Blue Flag Beaches but do make every effort to stay safe.’
The inshore lifeboat launched again later that day at 7.48pm after being tasked by the UK Coastguards who had again been called by a member of the public who had voiced concerns for the safety of five youngsters in two tiny inflatable dinghies off Beach Street, Sheerness.
The lifeboat located the two dinghies at 7.55pm and offered safety advice and assistance to the youngsters. One group declined any help whilst the other was assisted back to the shore and passed into the care of the Sheppey Coastguard rescue team.
The Lifeboat was stood down at 8.06pm and returned to station at 8.25pm
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.