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Sheerness RNLI lifeboat crew respond to early morning distress alert

Lifeboats News Release

The Sheerness all weather lifeboat was launched after an electronic distress beacon had been activated

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI all weather lifeboat, The George and Ivy Swanson, were called at 3.37am on Monday 17 October to reports that  an emergency position-indicating beacon (EPIRB) signal had been picked up on the 406khz radio frequency which indicates a distress call.

The signal had been transmitted from the area of Number 27 Buoy which is in Gillingham Reach in the River Medway.

Second coxswain Paul Jarvis said: 'An extensive search of the area was made using searchlights and direction finding equipment but nothing untoward was found and the lifeboat returned to station at 5.15am.’

An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, or EPIRB, is used to alert search and rescue services in the event of an emergency. It does this by transmitting a coded message on the 406 MHz distress frequency via satellite and earth stations to the nearest rescue co-ordination centre.

Some EPIRBs also have built-in GPS which enables the rescue services to accurately locate you to within 50 metres.

EPIRBs are generally installed on boats and can either be operated automatically after an incident or manually. In most countries they are mandated to be used in all commercial shipping. However, they are also used on yachts and leisure boats

RNLI media contacts

• Vic Booth RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer (Sheerness)  07926904453 / 01795 880544   vic.booth111@btinternet.com / vic_booth@rnli.org.uk
• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252  tim_ash@rnli.org.uk 

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 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.

 

The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland

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