A case of déjà vu for volunteer Whitstable Lifeboat crew

Contributed by editor on Jul 07, 2020 - 09:00 AM

Picture: James Crane/Sheppey Coastguard.


The Whitstable Atlantic 85 RNLI Lifeboat Lewisco was called to assist the same motor cruiser twice over the weekend.

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The lifeboat was launched first on Friday afternoon at 2.50pm following a report from the UK Coastguard of a 30-foot vessel with engine failure moored to a buoy in The Swale near Ridham Dock just to the east of the Kingsferry Bridge.

When they arrived on scene the lifeboat crew found the craft to be aground with its anchor deployed. They were told by the two occupants, who also had two dogs onboard, that the vessel had suffered a failure of one engine and had lost steering.

After a discussion both occupants decided to remain with their vessel to await the next tide and arrange a commercial tow.

However on Saturday morning the lifeboat was launched again at 08.05am to the vessel which had now dragged its anchor in  force 6 winds and was 20-metres from the sea wall on the Sheppey side of The Swale opposite Ridham Dock.

The lifeboat arrived at 8.35am and the crew found the craft high and dry.

The Sheppey Mobile Coastguard team in their mud rescue gear were also at the scene and the lifeboat stood by whilst they moved the motor cruisers anchor further down the mud bank towards the waterline.

The lifeboat remained at the scene until the casualty vessel refloated at around 11.15 but due to problems with the motor cruisers winch the vessel was unable to pull on her anchor to gain deeper water.

A tow line was attached and the lifeboat took the craft under tow to a mooring off Conyer Creek from where the occupants were taken ashore by a rigid inflatable boat from the Swale Marina.

The lifeboat returned to station around five hours after the call out.

Whitstable volunteer lifeboat crews have so far responded to 22 calls this year.

RNLI - Chris Davey

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