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Busy period for Whitstable RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

It has been a busy time for Whitstable RNLI over the last few days.

The Whitstable RNLI lifeboat.

RNLI/Chris Davey

The Whitstable RNLI lifeboat.
A 76-year old male had to be taken ashore from a yacht aground in The Swale by the Whitstable lifeboat on Thursday night (14th) after he began to feel unwell and the skipper called for assistance

The station's Atlantic 85 lifeboat Lewisco was launched at 11.45pm and the crew located the 30-foot yacht and its two occupants aground on the Horse Sand in the entrance to The Swale.

Whitstable Lifeboat Operations Manager Mike Judge said “The vessel had run aground just after the previous high tide and the two persons onboard had been stranded since the afternoon”.

“The 76-year old was beginning to feel unwell and there was concern that without access to his medication and no guarantee that the yacht would refloat on the next tide, his condition might deterioate”.

“The lifeboat made its way up the Swale and located the yacht still high and dry and listing heavily. Two members of the lifeboat crew went ashore onto the sandbank and assisted the casualty to the lifeboat and he was quickly brought ashore at the lifeboat station where he was picked up by a family member”.

“The skipper of the yacht had made preparations for the yacht to refloat on the next tide and was happy to stay with his vessel”.

Mike Judge continued “The skipper of the yacht did all the right things in calling for assistance once he realised the condition of his fellow occupant and enabled a prompt service from the lifeboat in bringing the casualty ashore before his condition took a turn for the worse and his prompt action is an example to all who venture onto the water and find themselves with persons feeling unwell”.

Then on Sunday the Whitstable RNLI Atlantic 85 lifeboat Lewisco was launched at 9.30pm following a report of an angler who had been fishing from a small boat, stranded on a turbine on the Kentish Flats windfarm off Herne Bay.

The lifeboat arrived at the scene, however there was no sign of a person or vessel in the vicinity of the turbine given as the reported location, by a member of the anglers family.

The lifeboat crew received information that the casualty had left the scene earlier so commenced a search towards the shore later sighting a craft west of the old Herne Bay pier head.

As a result of the low tide, the lifeboat was unable to proceed closer to the craft however the crew where able to direct the Herne Bay Coastguard Rescue Team to the area and they confirmed that the vessel seen was the casualty. The lifeboat was then 'stood down' from the incident and returned to station.

Whitstable lifeboat crews responded to two other calls over the weekend. At 02.12am on Saturday the lifeboat was launched following a report of two persons in an overdue dinghy in The Swale off the Harty Ferry Inn. The lifeboat was however 'stood down' when the coastguard reported the casualties were ashore.

Later, crews were paged and attended the lifeboat station at 07.32pm following a report of a paddleboarder in difficulties off the lifeboat station. The lifeboat was held at readiness to launch whilst the paddleboarder was kept under observation whilst heading back to the shore and the lifeboat was subsequently 'stood down' from launching.

There has now been 17 calls for the Whitstable lifeboat and its volunteer crews so far this year.



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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