Whitstable RNLI Lifeboat called to persons on old Herne Bay Pier Head

Lifeboats News Release

Three persons with an inflatable kayak had to be escorted ashore from the derelict former Herne Bay pier head on Saturday afternoon after they had been kept under observation by the Herne Bay Mobile Coastguard Team.

The former Herne Bay pier head.

RNLI Whitstable.

The former Herne Bay pier head.

Launching at 5.40pm the lifeboat arrived at the scene and whilst the three were safe and well escorted them back to the Neptune Jetty where the coastguard team were waiting.

Whitstable Lifeboat Community Safety Officer Andy Mayo said “The former pier head is not the ideal place to be exploring even in the best of weather conditions and we would advise people to keep well clear of the structure”.

Following this incident the lifeboat crew were 'tasked' to investigate another kayak, this time with 2 persons onboard reported as approximately 3.5-miles off Hampton. The lifeboat located the craft, by now 1-mile off Hampton with the occupants fishing in company with a inflatable dinghy. All onboard the two craft confirmed that they were not in need of assistance and the lifeboat returned to station. Weather conditions were calm seas and good visibility.

The lifeboat was in action again when in the early hours of Monday morning the crew launched at 01.37am to a report of a male possibly having entered the water at the Neptune Jetty, Herne Bay. The Herne Bay Mobile Coastguard and Rescue Team were also proceeding.

As the lifeboat approached the scene the Dover Coastguard reported that the casualty was now ashore with the and the lifeboat was 'stood down'

I transpired that the casualty was amongst a group of teenagers and had slipped off the outside ramp into the water. Apart from being wet was otherwise unharmed.

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.



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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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