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Drifting Yacht Towed to Safety by RNLI Lifeboat

Written by on 14 August 2020

The Sheerness RNLI all weather lifeboat ‘The George and Ivy Swanson’ launched at 8.49pm on Monday 10th August to assist a yacht with two people on board that had broken down and with no wind to set sails was drifting towards the very busy shipping lanes in the Thames Estuary

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat were tasked by the UK Coastguard to go to the assistance of a 28 foot sailing yacht that was drifting towards the main shipping lanes in the Warps area of the Thames Estuary.

The yacht with a father and son onboard was in difficulties due to engine failure and with the lack of any wind it was not possible to set sail to get out of trouble.

Launching at 8.49pm with a crew of seven the lifeboat quickly established communications with the casualty vessel via VHF radio

The lifeboat located the casualty at 9.18pm and with a towline secured the vessel was taken to the safety of Queenborough Harbour where it was secured on the all tide landing at 11.34pm.

After giving safety advice the ALB was released and was back on station at 11.49pm

Weather Part cloudy, Wind ENE 6 knts, Sea state calm, visibility good.

Many people will want to visit the coast and participate in water-based activities such as swimming, kayaking, surfing, boating and angling.

At present there are no RNLI lifeguards on some beaches and although our volunteer lifeboat crews are fully operational, should they be needed, it is important that anyone visiting the coast understands the risk and takes the necessary steps to keep themselves safe. This will also help to reduce the demands placed on our lifeboat crews and other emergency services including HM Coastguard. In this way we can all work together to succeed in ensuring the coast is a safe place to visit.

We would urge anyone planning a visit to the coast to follow RNLI safety advice:

• Take care near cliffs – know your route and your limitations

• Have a plan – check the weather forecast and tide times

• If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and Float

• If individuals are choosing to go sailing or yachting it is important to ensure that

equipment is properly checked and serviceable before going afloat.

• In any coastal emergency dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.