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Margate and Ramsgate lifeboats assist grounded yacht

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI lifeboats from Margate and Ramsgate have provided assistance to a motorsailer aground off the north Kent coast

Margate B class RNLI lifeboat 'Colonel Stock' (RNLI Margate)

RNLI Margate

Margate B class RNLI lifeboat 'Colonel Stock' (RNLI Margate)

UK Coastguard received a mobile phone call at around 4.30pm yesterday (Saturday 11 November) from the occupants of an 8m motorsailer reporting their vessel had run aground off Minnis Bay and required assistance. The craft had two occupants on board and was on passage from Queenborough to Margate.

Margate’s B class lifeboat was tasked to assist the vessel with Coastguard Rescue Teams from Margate and Herne Bay also responding to observe from ashore. The lifeboat located the craft aground on a rising tide on an exposed sandbank off Plum Pudding Island between Minnis Bay and Reculver Towers. The casualty vessel attempted to refloat itself but ran aground again after experiencing machinery problems whereafter a lifeboat crew member was put aboard to assist further. One of the craft’s occupants suffered a minor injury to his hand so a second lifeboat crew member was put aboard with first aid equipment to provide casualty care.

After assessing the situation it was decided the best way to assist the vessel was to connect a towline to aid its refloating. Once safely afloat a further assessment established that with no other vessel available to provide towage assistance the now disabled craft should be towed to a safe port of refuge by the lifeboat. With insufficient water in Margate harbour the lifeboat and tow set out for Ramsgate and given the distance it was decided to launch Ramsgate’s all-weather lifeboat to take over the tow from Margate lifeboat. The two lifeboats rendezvoused off Foreness Point and the tow transferred to the Ramsgate lifeboat.

Around this time the casualty vessel started to take on water, the ingress of which was able to be controlled by pumps on board the craft. It was decided therefore that the two crew members from Margate should remain on the vessel and the Margate lifeboat continue to escort the convoy to Ramsgate. Upon arrival at Ramsgate the craft was secured safely on a pontoon where they were met by coastguard officers. The lifeboats thereafter returned to station.

Derek Amas, Lifeboat Operations Manage, Margate RNLI said: “The injury to one of the yacht’s crew and ingress of water added to the complexity of the operation; fortunately the issues were managed thanks to the lifeboat crews from Thanet’s two lifeboat stations and local coastguard teams, providing an example how the various maritime emergency services can cooperate to resolve such situations - for the lifeboat crews, putting their intense training into practice.”

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.