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Three launches in twenty four hours for Ramsgate RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

The morning of 24 October saw the start of a busy twenty four hour period when Ramsgate RNLI volunteer crew launched to three separate incidents.

a lifeboat pulling a yacht with an Atlantic 85 in attendance

RNLI/Mark Stanford

Ramsgate Lifeboat towing the stricken vessel with Walmer Lifeboat in attendance.

The first launch was just after 4am on 24 October when the lifeboat was launched at the request of HM Coastguard to a fourteen meter yacht with engine failure, three miles East of North Foreland. Once on scene the all-weather Esme Anderson passed a line to the two sailors onboard and once secured they towed the casualty into Ramsgate.

At 3.48pm on the same day the inshore lifeboat Clare and David Delves was launched at the request of the Coastguard after a report of a windsurfer in difficulty off the Ramsgate main beach had been made by a member of the public.

The experienced windsurfer had been enjoying the Force 3 waves when the wind direction suddenly changed sweeping him out to sea. He was struggling to get back to shore. Once on scene the volunteer crew found the windsurfer had managed to reach shallow water and made his own way ashore. After he was checked out by the Coastguard mobile unit, the Inshore lifeboat returned to Ramsgate RNLI station.

The third launch was in the early hours of 25 October after Walmer Lifeboat Donald McLauchlan, an Atlantic 85, was launched at the request of HM Coastguard to a yacht aground on the South Goodwin Sands, and Ramsgate’s all-weather boat was later asked to give assistance.

The initial launch was at 3.10am when a twenty five meter yacht with one person onboard had run aground on the treacherous sands. Stuck on a falling tide the yacht was laid over on its side on a sand bank being pounded by the waves with the owner trapped onboard and the yacht filling with water. With no way of reaching the yacht the decision was taken by HM Coastguard to send a helicopter to rescue him which arrived on scene shortly and after the winchman was lowered down to the yacht, the man was taken onboard and flown to shore.

Walmer RNLI returned to base to change crew and then went back out to recover the yacht and assistance was then requested from Ramsgate’s all-weather boat. The weather conditions were calm at Force 2 but breaking waves on the sands had pushed the yacht over a sand bar and into deeper water and with the tide now rising the yacht was afloat.

The Walmer Lifeboat transferred two of their crew aboard the yacht to assist with attaching a tow line and to assess for any damage, and then passed a line to the Esme Anderson so that they could tow the yacht back to the safety of Ramsgate Harbour with the Walmer Lifeboat escorting. Once inside Ramsgate Harbour the tow was transferred to Walmer Lifeboat who berthed the yacht onto a pontoon, allowing the Ramsgate Boat to return to station.

Coxswain of RAMSGATE Ian Cannon said ‘A busy day for our volunteer crew working alongside other teams to bring about a good outcome. In 2018 there were 8964 launches in the UK and Ireland, with 26 people on average per day aided. This service is entirely funded by donations from the public, without which we could not continue our role to save lives at sea. If you see someone in trouble, stay safe and call the Coastguard on 999.’

Karen Cox Lifeboat Press Officer email. coxinthebox63@gmail.com tel 07779848431

Paul Dunt Regional RNLI Media Officer London and South East email. paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk tel 07785296252.

lifeboat alongside a yacht with crew attaching a line.

RNLI/Mark Stanford

Walmer Lifeboat crew attaching the tow line.
berthing the lifeboat and stricken vessel.

RNLI/Mark Stanford

Walmer lifeboat crew securing the yacht to the pontoon.

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.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.