Donate now

Lifeboat launches to ‘A Life on the Ocean Wave’

Lifeboats News Release

Walmer RNLI crew launched yesterday afternoon, 10 July, accompanied by the band of HM Royal Marines.

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

At 5.50pm yesterday afternoon, towards the end of the Royal Marines Band Concert on Walmer Green, a duty crew from Walmer RNLI, who had made themselves available throughout a hot day at the station, launched Atlantic lifeboat Donald McLauchlan at the request of HM Coastguard. A report had been received of a small vessel taking on water close to The Dolphin near Sandown Castle.

By pure coincidence, the Royal Marines band had just struck up ‘A Life on the Ocean Wave.’

The report suggested that the 1.5 metre inflatable was sinking and the two people on board were baling out water. On arrival eight minutes after launch, the crew discovered the vessel tied to The Dolphin fishing, and seemingly in no immediate danger. Crew checked on well-being, took the fishermen on board and safely to shore. They then returned to recover the inflatable, returning it to the beach and a Coastguard Rescue team.

This was the third call in two days for Walmer crews. On Saturday 9 July, D Class inshore lifeboat Duggie Rodbard II was paged at 3.50pm after multiple 999 calls to the Coastguard about a person in the water from a capsized kayak at Kingsdown. On arrival, the casualty was standing waist deep in the water with his kayak. A crew member was put overboard about 50 metres offshore to assist with emptying the kayak which was filled with water. The kayaker was well prepared with a buoyancy aid and a whistle. Another crew member was put ashore to check on well-being.

Volunteers stayed with the casualty to await the arrival of Langdon Coastguard Rescue Team and the lifeboat was stood down at 4.20pm.

On returning to the station, the boat was further tasked at 4.24pm to objects in the water off Deal Pier. These were discovered to be pot markers covered in seaweed which could be mistaken for long hair. A call with good intent. The lifeboat was recovered ashore at 4.47pm.

Figures recently released by the RNLI show that 42 people were rescued last year after getting into trouble paddleboarding, kayaking and canoeing. These water-based activities have become more popular in recent years and those undertaking them are urged to be aware of simple safety advice such as checking weather forecasts and tide times, wearing suitable floatation devices and carrying a means of communication with the shore.

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

Photo 1 Crew member enters the water to assist kayaker.

Photo 2 Donald McLauchlan launches on service.

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

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.