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Margate RNLI responds to swimmers in difficulties off north Kent coast

Lifeboats News Release

Margate’s volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew were in action today after two people encountered difficulties in the sea off the north Kent coast.

Margate RNLI D class inshore lifeboat (RNLI Margate)

RNLI Margate

Margate RNLI D class inshore lifeboat (RNLI Margate)

UK Coastguard received multiple reports around 5.30pm today (Sunday 2 July) from members of the public stating two people were in difficulties in the sea off St Mildred’s Bay, Westgate with RNLI lifeguards attempting a rescue. Margate’s D class inshore lifeboat was tasked along with Margate and Herne Bay Coastguard Rescue Teams.

The Margate coastguard team established that RNLI lifeguards at St Mildred’s Bay had gone to the assistance of the casualties and together with further assistance from the RNLI Lifeguard Rescue Water Craft from Margate Main Sands had recovered the two persons to the safety of shore.

While attending the incident the inshore lifeboat was diverted to an abandoned kite surfing rig off Westbrook Bay, spotted by personnel at the lifeboat station. The rig was recovered by the lifeboat and returned to Margate, UK Coastguard confirming that they had been informed earlier in the day that it had been abandoned with the occupant safe ashore.

Derek Amas, Lifeboat Operations Manager, Margate RNLI said: “It was a relief that the original call had a happy ending but the important aspect of the abandoned rig incident was that the owner notified the coastguard that everyone was safe. Without this information the drifting rig would possibly have been spotted by vessels further offshore leading to a lengthy and anxious multi-agency search probably stretching into the night. We encourage the public to pass on such information to the coastguard and of course use the 999 system in the case of coastal emergencies.”

Notes to editors

· Margate lifeboat station has been operating since 1860. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to:

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact:

· Peter Barker, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07974 064304 or [email protected]

· Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East) on 0207 6207416, 07786 668825 or [email protected]

· RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

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.