Major search for person in the sea off the north Kent coast
A major search has taken place off the north Kent coast following reports of a swimmer possibly in difficulties off Margate.
Kent Police received credible reports just before midnight last night (Saturday 12 June) of a person possibly in difficulties close to the Antony Gormley statue off Margate harbour. UK Coastguard initiated a multi-agency inshore waters search involving Margate RNLI’s B class and D class lifeboats along with the coastguard helicopter from Lydd Airport, shoreside coastguard search teams from Margate and Herne Bay and Kent police between Margate and Reculver Towers to the west involving visual and electronic means along with illuminating flares. After four hours of searching the search was suspended pending further enquiries.
Derek Amas, Lifeboat Operations Manager, Margate RNLI said: ‘The veracity of the reports resulted in an intensive search covering a wide area allowing for tidal drift. We encourage the public to dial 999 and ask for coastguard if they see anything untoward at sea or on the coast.’
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.