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Gravesend RNLI plans large multi-agency River Thames search & rescue exercise

Lifeboats News Release

Gravesend RNLI has been working alongside HM Coastguard to organise a large multi-agency River Thames joint exercise named 'Operation Mudlark' at Erith Pier. The training exercise scenario will be to recover a person who’s entered the water and has become stuck in mud requiring urgent attention.

Other SAR partners attending the exercise on Thursday 8 June include National Police Air Service (NPAS), London Fire Brigade (Boat), South East Coast Ambulance Service (Joint Response Unit) and Kent Police.

Gravesend RNLI Thames Commander Liam Sidders said, 'Our RNLI Volunteers often trains with other agencies but not usually to this scale. The opportunity to integrate with other emergency services is vital using the Joint Emergency Service Interoperability Programme.'

Senior Maritime Operations Officer Paul Whitehead at HM Coastguard added 'The location will be Erith Pier at approximately 11am on Thursday 8 June.'

The exercise can be viewed from a safe distance in public areas around Erith Pier.

Gravesend RNLI Thames Commander Liam Sidders further added, 'The scenario of a person in the water is a familiar one to our four River Thames RNLI lifeboat stations. If you spot someone in trouble, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.'

RNLI Media Contacts

For further information, please contact:

Ashley Bard, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Gravesend RNLI on 07557 157 587 or 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]

RNLI/Ashley Bard

Gravesend RNLI’s Olive Laura Deare II Atlantic 85


Gravesend RNLI on scene at Erith Pier at dusk


Gravesend RNLI Thames Commander Liam Sidders

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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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