Another busy weekend for the Sheerness RNLI Lifeboats
The volunteer crews of both the Sheerness RNLI Lifeboats have been called out to a variety of incidents this weekend.
The Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat ‘Buster’ launched with a crew of three at 7.30pm on Friday 17 June after being tasked by the UK Coastguard to reports of a 16foot white speedboat with three people onboard aground approximately 1.5nm NW of Grain Tower on Grain Spit.
The casualty was located at 7.42pm,high and dry with no chance of being towed clear. The three onboard stated that they were happy to wait for the tide to re-float and would then make their own way back to Queenborough.
The Inshore Lifeboat was tasked again at 11.35pm that evening by the UK Coastguard to the same craft, that having re-floated was now drifting due to mechanical failure.
The lifeboat located the craft at 0.09am on Saturday 18 June and with a towline attached the vessel was towed into The Camber in Sheerness Docks and secured at 0.40am. The two men and one lady were later collected from the docks by taxi and taken to Queenborough to collect their vehicle.
Later reports indicate that the speedboat and its occupants had previously been across the estuary to Southend and had to be rescued by the Southend RNLI Lifeboat after running aground over there as well !!
The Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat ‘Buster’ launched again with a crew of three at 10.32pm on Friday 17 June to reports of another vessel aground, this time off Allhallows in the Thames Estuary. The craft was located at 10.55pm approximately 400 yards distant from the tideline, and again with no chance of recovery. The crew shouted to the occupants who reported they were ok, just fishing, and would wait for the next high tide.
The lifeboat was stood down at 11.05pm and was back on station and ready for service again at 11.50pm. Wind SW3, slight seas and good visibility.
The Sheerness all-weather lifeboat ‘Judith Copping Joyce’ has also been in action over the weekend with two launches on Sunday 19 June.
The first launch was at 7.00pm when the lifeboat was tasked by the UK Coastguard to a 42foot angling boat with 13 people onboard that was at anchor, having suffered mechanical failure, West of the Redsands Towers.
The lifeboat was on scene at 7.48pm and located the craft which was now under tow from another vessel and heading for the Columbine Buoy which is off Shellness, Sheppey. Having provided an escort for the craft until it was secured, the lifeboat was stood down at 8.40pm and was back on station and ready for service again at 9.20pm. Wind NE 4-5 with 1mtr swells and good visibility.
The crew had just returned to their homes when they were paged again to reports of a 28 foot yacht that had suffered machinery failure and was dragging its anchor and ‘grounding’ near to the ‘Spile’ buoy, which is situated off the shore near Warden on Sheppey.
The lifeboat launched with a crew of six at 11.15pm and located the casualty, with one man and a lady onboard, at 11.50pm.
A crew member was put onboard the yacht to pass a towline and to release the crafts anchor, which was achieved at 0.10am.
The casualty was towed to the all-tide landing in Queenborough Harbour where it was secured at 1.45am.
The lifeboat returned to station and was ready for further service at 2.30am.
Sheerness RNLI spokesman Vic.Booth said : ‘it was very noticeable that in all these incidents, other than the large angling boat, that none of the people involved had very little, if any, previous sailing/boating experience and definitely no knowledge of the waters in the areas they had been sailing in. Fortunately they were all returned safely to shore with the help of our volunteer crew members, on another day things could have sadly turned out much different. We would urge that everyone who intends going afloat, especially for the first time, make sure they have the knowledge to use their craft efficiently, that all mechanics are in good order and full safety equipment is in place and also in usable condition, finally carry and know how to read up to date charts of the areas of travel.’
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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