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Abandoned sail boat sparks rescue alert off Thanet coast

Lifeboats News Release

Margate RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew along with local coastguard officers have been in action following reports of an abandoned sailing dinghy off the Thanet coast.

Margate RNLI lifeboat towing the dinghy back to Broadstairs (Photo credit ; Ian Lowe)

Ian Lowe

Margate RNLI lifeboat towing the dinghy back to Broadstairs (Photo credit ; Ian Lowe)

UK Coastguard received multiple reports from members of the public around 1pm today (21 June 2023) reporting an apparently abandoned dinghy with sails set, others reporting it to have capsized and drifting northwards in a fresh breeze off Broadstairs.

Margate’s B class RNLI lifeboat along with the local Coastguard Rescue Team were tasked to investigate, the latter sighting the capsized craft by now around a mile east of North Foreland. The lifeboat located the dinghy which was checked for recent occupancy, meanwhile it was established that the occupants of the craft were safe ashore at Viking Bay, Broadstairs.

The lifeboat crew were able to partly de-rig the yacht and after assessing the situation and considering the risk to navigation and the possibility of it being reported again it was agreed that the vessel should be towed back to shore. The lifeboat took the craft in tow and returned it to its owners along with the coastguard officers at Viking Bay. Once the craft was handed over the lifeboat returned to station.

Derek Amas, Lifeboat Operations Manager, RNLI Margate said: “There was concern that a potentially serious situation was developing following the calls to the coastguard. Members of the public are very much the eyes and ears of the rescue services with identifying potential emergencies at sea and we are grateful to those who called it in. If anyone sees anything untoward on the coast or at sea we urge people to dial 999 and ask for coastguard.”

Notes to editors

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

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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.

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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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