Photo: Kent Police

A sinking boat with two people aboard was saved from being ‘consigned to the riverbed’ thanks to the expertise of officers from Kent Police’s Search and Marine Unit.

The 40-foot motor cruiser developed a faulty pump which caused it to start flooding near Queenborough Harbour, Sheppey, at around 4pm on Wednesday 27 September 2022.

HM Coastguard

Officers from the Search and Marine Unit were patrolling the River Medway on the police vessel Invicta when they were made aware of the problem by HM Coastguard, and arrived at the location shortly afterwards.

RNLI volunteers

They carried out a check of the electronic pumping system and quickly identified what was wrong before helping to slow the flood and get the broken pump working again. They were then joined by volunteers from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution who used a petrol salvage pump to remove the excess water and ensure those on board could reach dry land safely.

Ensure vessels are seaworthy

Acting Sergeant Sam Milton of the Search and Marine Unit said: ‘During our inspection of the vessel’s essential equipment we found it to have one defective electronic pump and no manual pump. The fact it started to sink because of this should serve as a reminder to all boat-owners to ensure their vessels are in a seaworthy condition before being taken onto the water.

‘Fortunately on this occasion we were able to work with our partners at HM Coastguard and the RNLI to ensure those on board were safe and that their boat was not consigned to the riverbed.’

By Ed

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