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Gravesend RNLI diverts from exercise to ferry with steerage issues

Lifeboats News Release

At 2:14pm on July 19 Gravesend’s lifeboat 'Olive Laura Deare II' was launched to assist a ferry that had made contact with Gravesend Town Pier.

Stock photo of the Gravesend RNLI lifeboat 'Olive Laura Deare II' in the Thames.

RNLI/Ashley Bard

Stock photo of the Gravesend RNLI lifeboat 'Olive Laura Deare II' .

RNLI Thames Commander Sid Blake said, ‘The ferry had lost steerage whilst leaving Town Pier and had been forced by the incoming tide under the brow of the pier. The ferry had approximately twenty passengers onboard. Most of the passengers appeared to be making their way to the cruise ship that‘s currently moored alongside Tilbury Cruise Terminal.’

‘As the ferry’s wheelhouse was quite badly damaged it was decided to put a crew member ashore in order to assess the welfare of the crew and passengers and in order to see if any further assistance could be offered by the lifeboat.

‘As the passengers disembarked the ferry a verbal welfare check was conducted by our volunteers, on completion the crew were assessed, and no injuries were sustained'.

Once the ferry was secured and all checks were complete the lifeboat was stood down and continued on exercise.

RNLI Media Contacts

For further information, please contact:

Ashley Bard, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Gravesend RNLI email [email protected]

Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (London and South East), on 07785 296 252 or email [email protected]

Julie Rainey, Regional Media Manager (South East), on 07827 358 256 or email [email protected]

RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email [email protected]

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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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