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Multiple callouts for the Sheerness RNLI Lifeboat volunteers

Lifeboats News Release

The Sheerness RNLI Lifeboats were launched four times over the weekend of Saturday 21 May and Sunday 22 May to multi agency incidents.

RNLI Lifeboat 13-38 'Judith Copping Joyce'

RNLI/Vic Booth

Lifeboat Launched

The first calls involved the crew of the inshore lifeboat ‘Buster’ being tasked to multi agency incidents in and around the Medway/ Gillingham area. Two were in the early hours of Saturday 21 May followed by another launch at 1.30pm the same day.

This incident involved an un-named man who did not want to talk to a Kent Police team who needed to ask him a few questions.

The lifeboat was tasked when the man jumped in the water at Gillingham Marina in just his underpants, stating that he was going to swim to Southend.!! With the lifeboat on scene a policeman was ferried out to the man, who was now perched on a yacht in the Marina, presumably before starting his ‘epic’ swim.

With the situation resolved the lifeboat returned to station at 3.45pm.

Not to be outdone, the crew of the all-weather lifeboat ‘Judith Copping Joyce’ were tasked by the UK Coastguard at 10.30pm on Sunday 22 May to assist the crew of the Southend RNLI Hovercraft H-004 ‘Vera Ravine’ that had been called out to a craft with three young men onboard that was aground in Yantlet Creek on the Isle of Grain.

The closest the lifeboat could get to the casualty craft was the West Nore Sands Buoy which, due to the low water conditions, was approximately one mile from the incident.

With the Hovercraft able to cross the mud to the casualty craft the three young men were transported back to the waiting lifeboat which then took them to the lifeboat station at Sheerness where they were put ashore at 00.30am

Sheerness RNLI Press Officer Vic. Booth said :”this incident is remarkable for the fact that these three chaps had ‘set sail’ from Brentford Lock on the River Thames with no previous boating experience, no navigational experience, no means of communication other than mobile phones, no money and even more worrying not a single item of safety equipment. It is unbelievable that they managed to get as far as they did without hitting something or even worse being hit by any of the large vessels that use this extremely busy stretch of the Thames Estuary. Other than being very cold and muddy the three were all ok.”

No other details as to what happened to their craft or how they got back to their homes in North London are available at this time.

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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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.