Two anglers have been rescued by RNLI lifeboats after their dinghy capsized off the north Kent coast leaving them in the water for two and a half hours.
The alarm was raised around 8.30am today (Wednesday 20 June) when a passing yacht broadcast a Mayday Relay message reporting a small upturned craft possibly with people clinging on to it close to the Hook Sands around two miles north of Reculver Towers.
UK Coastguard assumed coordination of the rescue operation and Margate’s RNLI all-weather lifeboat, along with Whitstable’s RNLI lifeboat, were tasked to assist, Herne Bay Coastguard Rescue Team also responded.
Once the lifeboats arrived on scene a search was carried out and Whitstable lifeboat quickly located the craft with two males clinging to the capsized vessel. They were taken on board Whitstable lifeboat and treated for the effects of the cold and transferred speedily to Herne Bay harbour where they were handed into the care of South East Coast Ambulance Service.
Margate lifeboat remained on scene and were able to right the capsized craft and it was taken under tow to the safety of Margate harbour.
Paul Hodson, Lifeboat Operations Manager, Margate Lifeboat said: “These two gentlemen had a very lucky escape, it is not known what caused their vessel to capsize but thanks to the vigilance of the passing yacht and the speedy response of the two lifeboats the story had a happy ending, it could have been a lot different.
“We urge anyone who sees anything untoward at sea or on the coastline to dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”