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RNLI lifeboats involved after a battery explosion

Lifeboats News Release

Multi agency rescue teams were involved after a battery exploded on board a leisure craft in the Thames Estuary

The casualty craft under tow from the Sheerness all weather lifeboat with the Southend crew in the background as escort.

RNLI/Vic Booth

Under tow

The Sheerness all weather lifeboat was called by the UK Coastguard at 2.48pm on Friday 8 June and requested to rendezvous with the Southend RNLI lifeboat out in the Thames Estuary.

The Southend lifeboat was towing a 12.5 metre Sports Cruiser with two men and a woman on board that had been disabled after its battery had exploded some two hours earlier in the area of Blacktail Spit off the Essex coast.

The two lifeboats made contact just west of the SS Richard Montgomery wreck where the Sheerness crew took over the tow of the casualty and were also advised that none of the occupants were injured.

The Southend lifeboat escorted the Sheerness lifeboat with the casualty craft in tow back to the all tide landing at Queenborough where the Sheppey Coastguard Rescue Team and a Kent Fire and Rescue team were waiting as a precaution in case of fire and there being toxic fumes present due to acid spillage in the crafts bilges.

The lifeboats were stood down at 3.34pm and the Sheerness crew were back on station at 3.45pm

Wind Easterly force 2.


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