Margate’s RNLI inshore lifeboat, along with RNLI lifeguards, have rescued three people in a small dinghy after their craft started taking in water off Westgate-on-Sea.
UK Coastguard received a 999 call this afternoon (Sunday 3 September) from the occupants of a small dinghy reporting they were taking in water and being blown out to sea off Westgate. The craft had no engine, no oars, no anchor and no means of attracting attention other than a mobile phone.
The inshore lifeboat along with the RNLI lifeguard rescue water craft (RWC) from Margate Main Sands were tasked to assist. The lifeboat arrived on scene, around one mile offshore, where the RWC was by standing by the casualty vessel.
The three men aboard were taken onto the lifeboat and provided with protection from the cold. Their craft was taken in tow and returned to the beach at Epple Bay where they were handed into the care of local coastguard officers. The three occupants were unharmed after their adventure.
Peter Barker, deputy launching authority, said: “An outboard engine, oars, anchor and means of attracting attention are essential equipment suitable for a small dinghy going to sea. Suitable protective clothing and lifejackets should also be worn.
“The occupants would soon have been out of the range of their mobile phone and they were lucky to be able to raise the alarm, a marine VHF radio and flares are also investments that could save your life.”