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Dover RNLI recover floating wheelhouse mid channel from fishing vessel wreck

Lifeboats News Release

Yesterday (Thursday 8 September) Dover RNLI were paged at 8.05am to reports of a capsized boat mid channel in the south west shipping lane approximately 4 miles north of the Varne.

From a distance when approaching the debris in the water Dover RNLI volunteer crew members suspected it was part of a shed floating! Upon closer inspection and volunteer crew member Adam Dixon jumping into the water, the crew discovered it was actually part of a wheelhouse from a fishing vessel. 

Deputy 2nd Coxswain Robert Bendhiaf said 'HM Coastguard confirmed the wheelhouse was debris from a fishing vessel which sunk a number of weeks ago in the Solent. The wreck had been marked by Trinity House'. 

Leaving large debris floating within the busiest shipping lanes in the world just wasn't an option, Dover RNLI crew used the boat crane to winch the wheelhouse remains onto the deck of the Severn class lifeboat to prevent danger to shipping and boaters using the south west shipping lane. 

Upon further investigation by Dover RNLI, we can report the wheelhouse was indeed from the fishing vessel which Lymington RNLI and Yarmouth RNLI crews attended on Saturday 6 August in the Solent. Lymington RNLI volunteer crew members evacuated the two occupants of the vessel and once on scene Yarmouth RNLI begun to use their salvage pump in an attempt to save the vessel from sinking. With the assistance of Yarmouth RNLI both crews were unable to save the sinking vessel. 

RNLI media contacts 

Ed Baker, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer
07716799673, dover@rnli.org.uk
Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/South East/East)
0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 / tim_ash@rnli.org.uk 
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 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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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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