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Lifeboat launched to locate a vessel in the Thames Estuary

Lifeboats News Release

Sheerness RNLI lifeboat launched to find the source of interference on emergency VHF channel 16

Sheerness all weather lifeboat at speed.

RNLI/Vic Booth

The George and Ivy Swanson

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI All Weather Lifeboat launched at 12.44 pm on Thursday 31 May to try and find the source of interference on the maritime emergency VHF radio frequency, channel 16.

Using the lifeboats sophisticated direction-finding equipment and with radar information from London Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) the source of the interference was traced to a fishing vessel off Shoebury, Essex.

Having made contact and questioned the skipper of the fishing boat its radio was turned off and the interference ceased returning the emergency channel to normal usage.

The lifeboat returned to station and was ready for service again at 1.30pm.

Weather conditions: wind easterly force1 with dense fog patches and generally poor visibility

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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