A busy Bank Holiday for Ramsgate RNLI.
There was no chance of a lazy weekend for the volunteer crew of Ramsgate.
On Friday 27 August at 12.26 the inshore lifeboat Claire and David Delves launched at the request of HM Coastguard to an ex-ships-lifeboat with engine trouble, near the harbour approach channel, with two people onboard. Initially the wrong position was given, but the yacht was spotted and once they had arrived on scene the volunteer crew assessed the situation and decided that due to the wind, tide and intermittent engine, it was safer to tow the casualty into the harbour and onto a berth. The inshore then returned to station.
The following day Saturday 28 August a report came through at 07.40 that a yacht was aground on the Quern Bank so the inshore was again launched. On arrival at the scene they found that the yacht was not aground as thought, however the people onboard were uncomfortable with the conditions and after assessing the situation it was decided it was better to tow them into the safety of the harbour, much to the relief of the sailors.
As the inshore was returning to the harbour another request to launch came from the Coastguard at 08.15. This time it was for the all weather boat, which currently is the Windsor Runner (Civil Service no. 42) which is currently on relief at Ramsgate station.
The launch was to a report of a missing crew member suspected of falling overboard from a cargo vessel in the shipping lane approximately fourteen miles out to sea.
Under the coordination of the Coastguard the all weather boat carried out two extensive parallel searches for nearly ten hours, along with Walmer Lifeboat (A85), Dover lifeboat (Severn), Coastguard Helicopter and Coastguard fixed wing aircraft who all carried out other searches coordinated by the Coastguard.
At 18.00 Ramsgate’s lifeboat returned to Station for well needed fuel and a complete crew change, after having fully completing the second search pattern. Half an hour later they returned to sea and carried out further searches, coordinated by the Coastguard, well into darkness. At about 22.30 the lifeboat was stood down and returned to station. The following morning the decision was taken by the Coastguard to stand down the Ramsgate lifeboat from the search.
Sunday 29 August at 16.50 the inshore was once again launched at the request of the Coastguard, after a report from a member of the public of a kite surfer in difficulty near Kingsgate Bay, Broadstairs.
The volunteer crew carried out a search once on scene and found the kite surfer, who informed him that he was in no difficulty and happy to continue. So the inshore was stood down and returned to station. It was a false alarm, but done with good intent. We would rather that members of the public called us out than someone be placed in danger.
Later the same day at 20.40 the all weather was again launched to a nineteen metre yacht with no means of propulsion. Once on scene the crew found the casualty at anchor and after weighing up the situation regarding the wind and tide decided that the safest and only option was to tow it into Ramsgate Harbour. Once in the harbour the all weather changed the tow to an alongside tow and put the casualty alongside a mooring.
With more people than ever holidaying at home the seaside is a busy place and the volunteer crews are being called upon more often stretching our resources . Without support from the public we would not be able to continue our role of saving lives at sea as we entirely rely on donations.
Lifeboat Press Officer Karen Cox Email email@example.com Tel. 07779848431
Paul Dunt RNLI Regional Media Officer London and South East. email firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 07785296252.
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.