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Sinking boat and inflatables make for busy day for Whitstable and Margate RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

10 people, including a child, of a 34ft angling boat were assisted by Whitstable RNLI crew after their craft started taking in water and sinking in the entrance to the Swale on Sunday afternoon in a rescue that also involved Margate RNLI.

The rescue operation began when Whitstable’s Atlantic 85 Inshore Lifeboat (ILB), Lewisco was requested to proceed to assist the craft in the vicinity of the Horse Sand in the entrance to the Swale off Faversham.

The lifeboat had earlier been taking part with the Margate lifeboat in a display as part of the Whitstable Regatta.

The lifeboat arrived on scene at 3.05pm and located the casualty vessel at anchor half a mile south west of the Sand End Buoy.

A volunteer lifeboat crew member and salvage pump were put onboard the craft but after some 20 minutes the pumping operation had made little improvement to the water level.

It was therefore decided to request the assistance of the Margate lifeboat which was still in the Whitstable area. This was because the lifeboat carries a larger capacity pump and she arrived at the scene at 4pm. One of her crew and the larger pump were transferred to the casualty vessel.

Meanwhile the occupants of the angling boat had been brought onboard Whitstable lifeboat and taken ashore at Harty on the Isle of Sheppey.

At 5.15pm pumping operations had reduced the water level sufficiently for the casualty vessel to taken under tow by Margate lifeboat and beached at Hollowshore in the entrance to Faversham Creek, where the Sheppey Mobile Coastguard Unit were waiting to assist.

At 5.24pm both lifeboats were released from the operation to return to their respective stations.

Having just returned to station and been placed back in her launching carriage, Whitstable lifeboat was again requested to launch, to a report of  two inflatables in difficulty off Leysdown, Isle of Sheppey.

RNLI media contacts

Chris Davey, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Whitstable Lifeboat Station.
07741 012004/

Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252

James Oxley, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) 0207 6207425 / 07786 668825

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

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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