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First call of the year for Whitstable RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Whitstable RNLI had their first call of 2023 when the Atlantic 85 lifeboat Lewisco was launched just after midday following a report from the UK Coastguard at Dover of an EPIRB activation in the Swale and Medway area.

The Kingsferry Bridge in the Swale as seen from Whitstable lifeboat.

Vicky Kypta/RNLI Whitstable

The Kingsferry Bridge in the Swale as seen from Whitstable lifeboat.

The Sheerness Shannon class lifeboat had also been tasked for the search. An EPIRB or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon is a device that transmits a coded message in order to alert search and rescue services to an emergency.

Whitstable lifeboat searched the area from the the entrance to the Swale in the east as far as the Kings Ferry Bridge in the west meeting up with the Sheerness lifeboat just after the bridge but no signal or sighting of anyone in distress was detected.

Dover Coastguard then requested Whitstable lifeboat to continued the search back East down the Swale and later into the various creeks as the tide permitted but, as nothing untoward was located the Whitstable lifeboat was stood down to return to station, the cause of the incident being regarded as a false activation of the EPIRB.

Notes to editors

Whitstable RNLI Lifeboat Station was established in 1963 by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and is one of 237 lifeboat stations around the shores of the UK and Ireland. The volunteer crews provide a maritime search and rescue service for the Kent coast. They cover the area between the Kingsferry Bridge on the Swale, in the west, around the south-eastern side of Sheppey and along the coast through Whitstable and Herne Bay to Reculver in the east and outwards into the Thames Estuary.

The station is equipped with an Atlantic 85 lifeboat named Lewisco, purchased through a bequest of a Miss Lewis of London who passed away in 2006.

She is what is known as a rigid inflatable inshore lifeboat, the boat’s rigid hull being topped by an inflatable sponson. She carries a crew of four people.

RNLI media contacts

Chris Davey, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Whitstable Lifeboat Station.
07741 012004/ [email protected]

Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer London/southeast/east Tel: 0207 6207416 Mob: (07785) 296252 [email protected]

For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789


Whitstable lifeboat launches on the first call of 2023

Robin Bartlett/RNLI Whitstable.

Whitstable lifeboat launches on the first call of 2023
Vital work, shore crew wash down Whitstable lifeboat after it returned to station from the first call of 2023.

Chris Davey/RNLI Whitstable.

Vital work, shore crew wash down Whitstable lifeboat after it returned to station from the first call of 2023.Picture: Chris Davey/RNLI Whitstable.

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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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.

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