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Littlestone RNLI Emergency Services Day event interrupted by shout

Lifeboats News Release

Littlestone RNLI Emergency Services Day event was interrupted by report of Kitesurfer in trouble on Sunday, September 3.

RNLI/John Kenny

Littlestone RNLI Emergency Services Day

The day saw RNLI volunteer crew at Littlestone demonstrate their skills alongside lifeboats from three neighbouring stations who together practiced drills essential in lifesaving operations and rescues.

The activities were interrupted mid-afternoon by a tasking from HM Coastguard for Littlestone’s B Class Atlantic 85 Jean McIvor to attend a 999 report of a kitesurfer in the water about half a mile off St Mary’s Bay in Kent.

In front of a large crowd, the Littlestone lifeboat was launched and sped away to search for the casualty. On finding the kitesurfer the RNLI crew were relieved to see that help was already on hand from the local kitesurfing school and were therefore stood down.

During the earlier part of the day, the Littlestone RNLI lifeboat was joined by the Dover Severn Class City of London 2, Dungeness’s Shannon Class The Morrell and Rye Harbour’s B Class Atlantic 85 lifeboat Hello Herbie 2. Emergency Services Day is held at Littlestone every year around the beginning of September. The show aims to profile the role of Littlestone’s lifeboat and crews whilst also showcasing other types of lifeboats from flanking stations. The event also hosts a vast array of other emergency services and rescue organisations along with stall and fair ground attractions.

The day saw personnel from a range of emergency services with both static and dynamic displays including the RNLI, HM Coastguard, Kent Marine Police, Kent Police, Sussex Police, Pett Level Independent Rescue boats, Kent Fire & Rescue, SECAmb HART team, Civil Nuclear Constabulary, Border Force, Kent Highways, Port of Dover Police, St John Ambulance, The Salvation Army and Kent Air Ambulance. The weather was excellent, and the public came out in force to enjoy the sunshine, sea breeze and to learn a little more about our essential emergency services. The main event on the day took place at sea with the four channel RNLI lifeboats demonstrating their individual and combined skill sets, including the Dover RNLI Severn Class using its integral crane to launch its smaller, more nimble Y boat, which is an inflatable daughter boat which is ideal for rescues near rocks and shallow waters. This meant that at one stage there were five RNLI lifeboats on the water representing four different classes of boat- each with its own individual lifesaving abilities. The highly trained RNLI crews cooperated with each other to demonstrate the various tasks that they are regularly expected to encounter in emergency situations at sea.

Littlestone lifeboat Commander, Heather Crittenden, said: ‘This was an important opportunity for four local channel stations to demonstrate how the RNLI teams work together to ensure that real life rescues run smoothly’.

This required skill from the four RNLI sets of crew, and particularly the lifeboat commanders, during the exercises was evident for the hundreds of public spectators gathered at Littlestone RNLI Station to watch. The day was a huge success as the joint efforts of all organisations involved led to a deeper public understanding of what all the emergency services do.
Littlestone Lifeboat Operations Manager Matt Crittenden explained: ‘Emergency Services Day is a huge day in our calendar. It’s a really important opportunity for our volunteer crew members to get up close and personal with the public and helps them understand the critical work our crews perform in saving lives at sea. It’s also a day that helps fuel the interest of potential volunteers and donors, we also encourage other organisations and charities to attend our event it’s a great plus for the community’.
‘If you find yourself in trouble in the water, please remember to lie on your back, relax and Float to Live.’
RNLI Float to live advice:
-Tilt your head back with ears submerged
-Relax and try to control your breathing
-Move your hands to help you stay afloat
-Once you are over the initial shock, call for help or swim to safety
-In an emergency call 999 or 112– if you are at sea or on the beach ask for the coastguard, or if inland ask for the Fire and Rescue Service.
· Further information on Float to Live here

RNLI/John Kenny

Littlestone RNLI man overboard practice

RNLI/John Kenny

Dungeness RNLI involved in Littlestone RNLI Emergency Services Day

RNLI/John Kenny

Dover RNLI lifeboat at Littlestone Emergency Services Day

RNLI/John Kenny

Rye Harbour,Dungeness,Littlestone and Dover RNLI lifeboats come together for Emergency Services Day

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.