Whitstable RNLI issue advice after an incident at The Whitstable Street

Lifeboats News Release

Lifeboat crews at Whitstable RNLI have issued advice to walkers on the shingle spit known as the Whitstable Street at Tankerton following an incident on Thursday afternoon when 4 persons were swept away by the tide and found themselves in difficulty in the deeper water beside the spit.

The shingle spit known as the Whitstable Street on Tankerton seafront.

RNLI Dave Parry

The shingle spit known as the Whitstable Street on Tankerton seafront.
The Street which is only exposed at low tide and is popular with walkers is a natural strip of shingle on a clay bank which runs out to sea from the beach at Tankerton for a distance of about 1⁄2 mile.

The stations Atlantic 85 lifeboat Lewisco was launched at 1.12pm to assist and arrived at the scene to find that the group had managed to return to the beach . Two members of the lifeboat crew waded ashore to confirm that all were accounted for and safe.

Lifeboat crewmember Ben Crosswell said “The casualties aged between 14 and 16 had been walking out but had very quickly found themselves out of their depth in a very strong flood tide but fortunately they managed to regain the shore before we arrived”.

“They were all uninjured but visibly shaken by their experience. We would urge all those unfamiliar with the area to be vigilant regarding the local conditions including wind and tide”.

“People should be aware that not only is there an issue on The Street with being cut off by the tide but that a strong tide moving across the spit can easily sweep people off their feet into the deeper water either side”.

Weather conditions at the time of the incident were a force 1 easterly breeze and a smooth sea with good visibility. This was the 24th call of the year for the Whitstable lifeboat.

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.

RNLI media contacts

  • Chris Davey, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Whitstable Lifeboat Station.
    07741 012004/ [email protected]

  • Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer London/southeast/east Tel: 0207 6207416 Mob: (07785) 296252 [email protected]

  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

The scene from Whitstabe lifeboat at shingle spit known as the Whitstable Street on Tankerton seafront 4 hours before high tide.

RNLI/Dave Parry

The scene from Whitstabe lifeboat at shingle spit known as the Whitstable Street on Tankerton seafront 4 hours before high tide.
Lewisco, the Whitstable Atlantic 85 Lifeboat.

RNLI Whitstable.

Lewisco, the Whitstable Atlantic 85 Lifeboat.

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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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