Kayakers rescued by Sheerness RNLI lifeboat
Three kayakers were rescued by the Sheerness inshore lifeboat after they were caught out by atrocious weather conditions in the Medway estuary.
The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat ‘Buster’ launched at 12.03pm on Saturday 28 July after a call from the UK Coastguard reported that three kayakers were in difficulties in the area of Nore Marsh in the River Medway.
Due to the very poor weather conditions the lifeboat had to run at reduced speed to the scene. Whilst on route the crew were advised that two yachts had been standing by the kayakers and had actually taken one of the three men onboard for his safety but had lost contact with the other two when they were last seen trying to reach the shore.
Having arrived at the scene the inshore lifeboat began a search of the local marshes and the many creeks in the surrounding area. The UK Coastguard were advised that the all-weather lifeboat was manned and standing by if further assistance was needed.
At 1.00pm the ILB crew reported that they had located the two missing kayakers ashore at Bishops Marsh and were removing them to a place of safety.
Having assessed that the men were uninjured, but very cold and wet, the lifeboat landed them ashore at the Riverside Country Park where the Medway Coastguard Rescue Team were waiting to meet them.
With the men safely on land the lifeboat then returned to the marsh and recovered their two kayaks which were also landed at the country park.
Once this was completed the crew then went back out again, this time to the yacht where they recovered the third kayaker and his equipment and safely landed him ashore as well.
The three adult men had originally set off from Queenborough Harbour on Friday 27 July and had camped overnight on Darnett Ness. They had been attempting to return to Queenborough when they were caught out by the worsening weather conditions.
The lifeboat returned to station at 2.15pm and after a thorough cleaning and refuelling was ready for service again at 2.50pm.
Weather at the time was poor with wind blowing South Westerly force 6 gusting 8
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Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.