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Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat launched to assist a small hovercraft

Lifeboats News Release

The Sheerness inshore lifeboat was called to assist a small hovercraft that had lost power in The Swale.

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat ‘Buster’ launched at 3.10pm on Tuesday 28 November after a call for assistance from the UK Coastguard reporting that a small hovercraft with one man on board was in trouble between Ridham Dock and the Kingsferry Bridge in the Swale.

The ILB located the casualty at 3.23pm aground on a mud bank and unable to move after suffering power failure to its lift motor.

The lifeboat crew decided to wait for the flood tide to refloat the hovercraft, with this being achieved at 4.03pm.

The craft was then towed to the launching ramp at Kingsferry where the Sheppey Coastguard Rescue team were in attendance.

With the occupant of the hovercraft needing no medical assistance the ILB was released and back on station at 4.36pm.

Weather conditions at the time were fair with wind NW force 3 to 4.

This was the 70th call so far, this year for ‘Buster’ and the ILB volunteers.


RNLI media contacts

Vic Booth RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer (Sheerness) 07926904453 / 01795 880544 /

Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer S.E. 07785296252

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