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Walmer RNLI answers direct pagings from HM Coastguard

Lifeboats News Release

Two direct pagings this afternoon, Monday 11 September, led to a launch for Walmer’s Atlantic lifeboat at 3.30pm.

RNLI/Steve Duncombe

The crew on board Walmer's B Class lifeboat Donald McLauchlan was directed to two divers missing from a broken-down dive boat near the South-West Goodwin buoy. Both Dover lifeboat and the Coastguard search and rescue helicopter were also requested.

The divers were spotted by the helicopter and the lifeboat was directed to recover the casualties from the water. This manoeuvre proved tricky because of the weight of the dive gear, the swell and the running tide. After around 20 minutes both divers were recovered safely to the lifeboat. After carrying out welfare checks it was discovered that the casualties had been in the water for over an hour.

Taking this into consideration, the helm took the decision to make best speed back to Dover lifeboat station where they were met by the Langdon Coastguard Rescue team, while Dover lifeboat were requested to tow the dive boat back to the harbour.

Speaking after the recovery, Walmer’s Operations Manager Denis Brophy said: ‘The crew performed with great professionalism under difficult circumstances this afternoon. A good job well done.’

The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. It relies on donations which go towards training a crew member so they have the skills to keep themselves and others safe. It helps transform a willing lifeboat volunteer into a competent lifesaver.

Photo 1: Walmer's B Class lifeboat Donald McLauchlan.

Notes to editors

Walmer lifeboat station was established in 1856.

It currently operates two inshore lifeboats – a B Class Atlantic 85 Donald McLauchlan and a smaller D Class Duggie Rodbard II.

Crews have received 28 Awards for Gallantry

To find out more about Walmer lifeboat station go to

RNLI media contacts

  • Chris Winslade, Lifeboat Press Officer, Walmer Lifeboat Station on 01304 374475 or 07906 623037 [email protected]
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789 or [email protected]

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.