Five emergencies in a week for volunteers

Lifeboats News Release

Walmer RNLI crews answer the call to five emergencies.

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

The first, a paging alert at 2.22am on the morning of Sunday, 24 July saw the station’s D Class inshore lifeboat Duggie Rodbard II launch in response to reports of a missing person possibly in the water near the Zetland Arms in Kingsdown. Four crew conducted a shoreline search from The Butts back to Deal. Two flares were fired to assist with the search, but nothing was discovered. Two Coastguard Rescue Teams were also on hand to assist. The casualty was found safely at home and the lifeboat was stood down at 3.03am.

Later that afternoon, and fresh from undertaking a nine-hour casualty care course earlier in the week, Walmer volunteers were on hand to give their professional care and assistance to a person who had fallen from a ladder just opposite the lifeboat station. The crew stayed with the casualty, immobilising his neck and head, and administering oxygen until an ambulance arrived.

Further assistance to a casualty ashore was provided by two Walmer volunteers on Thursday, 28 July. Two members of a Coastguard Rescue Team had just ordered breakfast at a café opposite the lifeboat station when they noticed a gentleman who had been taken unwell while driving and requiring first aid, parked outside the lifeboat station. The two casualty-care trained lifeboat crew assisted by providing oxygen until the gentleman was safely handed over to the ambulance service. A great example of multi-agency partnership.

Crew launched again on Duggie Rodbard II on Saturday 30 July after being paged at 1.36pm, getting to sea nine minutes later to two people in an inflatable dinghy who had been drifting with the wind and tide near St Margaret’s Bay for around two hours. On reaching the casualties they were handed survivors life jackets and taken on board the lifeboat. Several attempts were made to take the dinghy and an attached paddleboard under tow. With the difficulties encountered with the tow due to sea conditions, the decision was made to deflate the dinghy and take it, along with the paddleboard onto the lifeboat and return them back to shore.

On reaching St Margaret’s Bay the lifeboat was beached and all three crew went ashore to check on well-being and providing them with blankets before handing the casualties into the care of the Langdon Coastguard Rescue Team.

The busy week for Duggie Rodbard II continued on Sunday 31 July when crew launched at 1.50pm to an initial report of three children cut off by the tide on Admiralty Steps on the west side of Admiralty Pier in Dover. The lifeboat battled through rolling waves and challenging sea conditions around the Eastern and Western Arms of Dover Harbour, with waves coming from both directions after rebounding from the harbour wall. On reaching the scene, the casualties had been winched to safety by the Coastguard helicopter. Independent footage which emerged later showed the casualties to be two adults.

Notes to editors

Walmer lifeboat station was established in 1856.

It currently operates two inshore lifeboats – a B Class Atlantic 85 Donald McLauchlan and a smaller D Class Duggie Rodbard II.

Crews have received 28 Awards for Gallantry

To find out more about Walmer lifeboat station go to

Photo 1 Lifeboat beached in St Margaret's Bay

Photo 2 Challenging sea conditions around Dover Harbour

Photo 3 Rolling waves at the entrance to Dover Harbour

RNLI media contacts

  • Chris Winslade, Lifeboat Press Officer, Walmer Lifeboat Station on 01304 374475 or 07906 623037 [email protected]
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

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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