Margate RNLI called to drifting yacht and possible man overboard

The empty yacht under tow by Margate RNLI lifeboat (RNLI Margate)

Margate RNLI was called to a report of a drifting yacht off Margate with concerns that its occupant could have fallen overboard yesterday (August 5).

An outward-bound roll on-roll off cargo vessel in the Thames estuary contacted Port of London Authority’s Vessel Traffic Service at Gravesend reporting they had sighted a drifting yacht in the Princes Channel off Margate.

It couldn’t be established with certainty if anyone was on board the vessel and with the possibility that a single-handed yachtsman may have fallen overboard the alert was passed to UK Coastguard who tasked Margate RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat to investigate.

The lifeboat located the yacht around ten miles north west of Margate and it was quickly established that the vessel was unmanned and likely to have broken adrift from its moorings. As it presented a potential hazard to navigation, and to avoid any subsequent sightings it was towed to the safety of Ramsgate harbour by the lifeboat where it was met by members of Margate Coastguard Rescue Team.

Ian Lowe, Deputy Launching Authority, Margate RNLI said: “We are grateful to the ship for reporting the drifting yacht, such occurrences are not unusual, but we would rather respond to a false alarm such as this than assume the best and be faced with the worst.”