Triple call out for Margate’s RNLI lifeboats
Margate’s two RNLI lifeboats have taken part in simultaneous rescues involving an abandoned inflatable off Margate and a speedboat aground on the Margate Sands around three miles offshore.
Around 3.30pm yesterday (Friday 4 March) Port of London Authority received information from a passing ship of an empty inflatable dinghy, possibly capsized in shipping lanes around six miles north east of Margate. UK Coastguard was informed and Margate’s B class Atlantic 85 lifeboat was tasked to investigate along with the North East Spit pilot cutter which was in the area. After carrying out a computed search pattern the dinghy was located by the lifeboat and identified as being involved in a previous incident where the occupants had been recovered safely. After assessing the situation, it was considered the dinghy presented a hazard to navigation and it was agreed that it should towed to Margate harbour where it was handed over to the care of Margate Coastguard Rescue Team (CRT).
While this incident was underway one of the two occupants of a 5m speedboat telephoned the lifeboat station stating they had run aground on the Margate Sands around four miles north west of Margate and required assistance. UK Coastguard was again informed and Margate’s D class inshore lifeboat was tasked to investigate, along with Whitstable RNLI lifeboat. The casualty vessel was quickly located ‘high and dry’ on the sands by the Margate inshore lifeboat and Whitstable lifeboat was recalled.
The lifeboat laid out an anchor for the casualty vessel and as the two occupants were feeling the effects of the cold were landed back at Margate by the lifeboat where they were met by members of the CRT. Around five hours after the initial call the B class lifeboat re-launched to recover the speedboat which was also considered to be a hazard to navigation on the rising tide. The craft was subsequently towed to the safety of Margate harbour.
Lee Button, Deputy Launching Authority, Margate RNLI said: “There have been four calls in two days for our crew including the first two callouts for our new B class Atlantic 85 lifeboat Colonel Stock, the two incidents here requiring around nine hours of commitment for our volunteer crew. The new lifeboat has certainly got off to a flying start with its time at Margate.”
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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