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Teenage dinghy sailor has a long wait to refloat his grounded craft

Lifeboats News Release

A teenage boy had to wait seven hours aboard his dinghy before he could set sail again.

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat were called by the UK Coastguard at 1.38pm on Saturday 19 August to reports that a teenage boy had grounded his small dinghy and was stuck on the treacherous Rushenden mud flats in Queenborough Harbour

The youth was located at 1.47pm approximately 50 meters from the water’s edge and some 150 meters from the shore on the mud flats between Rushenden and the Coalwasher jetty.

A crew member from the ILB made slow progress across the mud to reach the casualty who was found to be ok but totally unprepared to be out on the water with no suitable clothing or any safety equipment on board his small craft.

The boy then informed the crew member that his mother was on another vessel close by.

Having returned to the ILB the crew member along with the other crew located the mother and after conversation with her and the UK Coastguard, suitable clothing and safety equipment plus food were taken back to the boy by the ILB crew who once again safely negotiated the mud bank.

After further conversation with the UK Coastguard it was deemed too dangerous to try and extricate the boy who said he was happy to remain aboard his craft even though it would mean a wait of some seven hours before there was enough water to refloat his dinghy.

The UK Coastguard requested that the mother take responsibility of the situation, which she was happy to do, and the ILB crew were released at 3.00pm to return to station for a thorough hosing down of the crew and the ILB itself.

The UK Coastguard made regular welfare checks with the boy and later that evening confirmed that the dinghy had successfully refloated and the boy was none the worse but definitely a lot wiser for his escapade and had returned to the family’s boat.

Ends

Media contacts:

Vic Booth RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer (Sheerness) 07926904453 / 01795 880544 vic_booth@rnli.org.uk

Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer S.E. paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk 07786668825

• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207

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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