Dungeness RNLI called to ‘yacht taking on water’
At 11.15am on Monday 10 October, the volunteer crew of the Shannon-class lifeboat The Morrell were paged to launch the lifeboat. A yacht with two people on board, had called 999 for assistance as they believed their vessel to be taking on water.
Dungeness lifeboat launched at 11.30am and made way to the location of the yacht, only a quarter of a mile from the lifeboat station and very close to the shore.
The weather was fairly windy between force 4 and 5 and sea state was moderate.
The casualty vessel did not have VHF radio so communication was difficult at first but once the lifeboat was alongside, they were able to pass the casualty a handheld radio. It was then noted that the water ingress was actually from large waves flooding the boat and not a leak.
It was decided by the coxswain to escort the yacht slowly into Dover Harbour as this was the nearest appropriate safe haven.
Once the lifeboat and the yacht arrived at the harbour entrance, the Dover Harbour Launch boat took over from the lifeboat and helped the casualty into the harbour where a Coastguard Rescue team were there to give safety advice.
Deputy Second Coxswain, Steve Cardew, says:
‘The casualty did the right thing in calling 999 when they needed assistance. Although they didn’t have a VHF radio, which is recommended, they did have a mobile phone and so was able to be connected to the Coastguard. We always advise to bring at least one means of communication when going to sea.’
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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