Strong winds result in launches for both the Sheerness RNLI Lifeboats
The Sheerness RNLI lifeboat volunteers were called to separate incidents during strong winds. The inshore lifeboat assisted a number of kayakers in difficulties whilst the all-weather lifeboat was launched to a large accomodation barge that had broken from its moorings
The Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat Buster launched at 12.24pm on Saturday 29 January with a crew of three after being tasked by the UK Coastguard to reports of five kayakers being stranded on Darnett Ness in the River Medway due to the strong winds in the area at the time.
The lifeboat arrived on scene at 12.52pm and was met by the Kent Police RIB ‘Invicta’ which had also been alerted. Crew from the Police vessel had made their way across the mud to the stranded kayakers and the decision was made to transfer them and their kayaks using the lifeboat to shuttle to the Police craft.
With all the casualties reported to be well, the transfer was completed at 1.38 pm and the lifeboat was stood down,leaving the Police RIB to take them to Gillingham Marina.
More strong winds again on Monday 31 January resulted in the Sheerness all-weather lifeboat Judith Copping Joyce being tasked by the UK Coastguard to reports of a 41mtr x 11mtr accommodation barge that was drifting after having broken free from its moorings in Pin Up Reach near Gillingham.
Having launched at 10.00am with a crew of six the casualty was located at 10.20am in Halstow Creek, some way from its original position and high and dry against the sea wall.
After confirming that there was no one onboard the vessel the lifeboat was informed by the UK Coastguard that the owner was aware of the problem and would be making arrangements for a commercial tug to attend.
The lifeboat was stood down at 11.00am and was back on station at 11.30am.
Winds NW 6 to 7 with moderate visibility.
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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