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Four calls in five days for Walmer RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Walmer's Atlantic 85 and D Class inshore lifeboats answer four emergency calls in five days this week.

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

The first, on Sunday 7 August saw Walmer’s Atlantic 85 Donald McLauchlan launch after a paging at 9.36pm to a 13m, 20 tonne fishing boat on passage from Eastbourne to the River Thames which had lost power. The first report was that the vessel was off St Margaret’s Bay, but crew met with the boat off Kingsdown with it having drifted with the tide. The helm made the decision that undertaking a tow was necessary and the safest way to assist the vessel which was taken to Ramsgate Harbour, the nearest safe and suitable port

A crew member was put aboard to fix a line and the lifeboat began the tow at 5 knots. Due to the weight of the vessel a request was made for Ramsgate lifeboat to assist and it was released to their boat at 11.00pm who took over the tow. The Atlantic followed into the harbour where a second crew member was put aboard to assist. Both crew were recovered and the lifeboat returned to Walmer at 12.30am.

The second call of the week came at 4.02pm on Tuesday, 9 August when D Class lifeboat Duggie Rodbard II launched after a call to HM Coastguard concerning an inflatable with one person on board approximately one nautical mile east of the Deal Coastguard lookout. Communications with the mobile Coastguard revealed that they had spoken with people on the beach but nothing untoward was reported. A shoreline search between The Dolphin and The Butts also discovered nothing. The lifeboat returned to station at 5.00pm. The call was a false alarm, but with good intent.

Call number three came when a crew assemble paging led to a further launch for Duggie Rodbard II at 8.12pm on Wednesday, 10 August to a possible vulnerable person near Kingsdown. The lifeboat stood off just out of sight at sea while the situation was dealt with by the Coastguard Rescue Team. The casualty was put safely into the care of other emergency services and the lifeboat returned to station at 8.50pm.

The station’s D Class was again called into action at 11.08am today, 12 August, to a person cut off by the tide about 200 metres south of the Coastguard Restaurant in St Margaret’s Bay. A kayaker fishing just offshore helped guide the crew to the casualty. The lifeboat was nosed on to the beach. Two crew members were put ashore where the person was handed a lifejacket and was then taken aboard before being landed safely ashore at the restaurant into the care of the Coastguard Rescue Team. The lifeboat was recovered back at station at 12.00 noon.

In the current heatwave we strongly recommend remaining hydrated. We also recommend being aware local tide times and of the dangers of walking and sunbathing at the foot of the cliffs.

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 Walmer's Atlantic 85 prior to launch

Photo 2 D Class Duggie Rodbard II ashore near St Margaret's Bay

RNLI media contacts

  • Chris Winslade, Lifeboat Press Officer, Walmer Lifeboat Station on 01304 374475 or 07906 623037 [email protected]
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South-East) on 07785 296252, [email protected]
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.