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Whitstable RNLI launch to capsized dinghy

Lifeboats News Release

Whitstable RNLI are urging anyone who spots persons in difficulties at sea to dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.

Whitstable lifeboat comes alongside the capsized dinghy off Seasalter on Friday afternoon.

RNLI Whitstable.

Whitstable lifeboat comes alongside the capsized dinghy off Seasalter on Friday afternoon.
Fortunately that was the case when a dinghy sailor had to be taken ashore by the Whitstable RNLI Atlantic 85 lifeboat on Friday afternoon after he capsized off Seasalter, West of the town following the loss of his rudder.

A person onshore spotted the sailor in difficulties and raised the alarm. The lifeboat launched at 4.21pm the crew located the casualty 6-minutes later in the water but with his craft off Preston Parade.

He was brought onboard the lifeboat and wrapped in a thermal blanket. His 14-foot dinghy was ‘righted’ and brought alongside the lifeboat for the tow to Seasalter Sailing Club during which the crew located the dinghy’s rudder.

On arrival he and his craft were handed into the care of the Herne Bay Coastguard Rescue Team.

Helmsman Dave Parry said “Fortunately his plight was seen by a member of the public onshore who raised the alarm by calling the coastguard and we would urge anyone who sees a person or persons in difficulties at sea to just that and dial 999 and ask for the coastguard”.

“On this occasion the dinghy sailor had set off from Seasalter Sailing Club when his rudder became detached making the craft uncontrollable and had drifted for about ¾-mile towards Preston Parade. He estimated he had been in the water for around 1-hour and was quite cold.

Weather conditions at the time of the incident were South Westerly force 4 winds.

This was the 7th call of the year for the volunteer crews at Whitstable lifeboat station

Notes to editors

Whitstable RNLI Lifeboat Station was established in 1963 by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and is one of 237 lifeboat stations around the shores of the UK and Ireland. The volunteer crews provide a maritime search and rescue service for the Kent coast. They cover the area between the Kingsferry Bridge on the Swale, in the west, around the south-eastern side of Sheppey and along the coast through Whitstable and Herne Bay to Reculver in the east and outwards into the Thames Estuary.

The station is equipped with an Atlantic 85 lifeboat named Lewisco, purchased through a bequest of a Miss Lewis of London who passed away in 2006.

She is what is known as a rigid inflatable inshore lifeboat, the boat’s rigid hull being topped by an inflatable sponson. She carries a crew of four people.

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  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

The lifeboat crew ‘right’ the dinghy alongside the lifeboat. Picture: RNLI Whitstable.

RNLI Whitstable

The lifeboat crew ‘right’ the dinghy alongside the lifeboat. Picture: RNLI Whitstable.

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.