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Perfect timing by the Sheerness lifeboat crew

Lifeboats News Release

On passage back to station the Sheerness RNLI all weather lifeboat received a PanPan call from a vessel in trouble.

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 volunteer crew of the Sheerness all weather lifeboat, The George and Ivy Swanson, were heading back to the lifeboat station from Gillingham Marina, where the lifeboat had been visiting for routine maintenance, when a PanPan call was received at 1.38pm from the motor cruiser Sukat reporting that the craft had run aground on Bishops Marsh and lost all propulsion.

The casualty with four people onboard was found within five minutes of the lifeboat receiving the call and with a tow line attached was then taken to Gillingham Marina where it was handed over to the marina workboat.

The lifeboat was back on station at 2.38pm. Wind Easterly force 4 to 5

Note ; A PanPan call is the international standard urgency signal used to declare an urgent situation that at the present time does not pose immediate danger to life or the vessel involved and is distinct from a Mayday call which means imminent danger to life or the vessel and calls upon all in the area to drop what they are doing and begin an immediate rescue.


Media Contacts

RNLI media contacts

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

Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer S.E. 07785296252

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