Coastguard and RNLI called out to search for ‘person in the water’ off Margate harbour

The Coastguard attended Photo Jamie Horton

The Coastguard helicopter was called out in the early hours of this morning (March 1) to reports of a person n difficulty at Margate harbour.

The call was made at 4.21am and Coastguard rescue teams from Margate and Herne Bay were sent, with an RNLI lifeboat from Margate and a coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Lydd.

An area around Margate harbour was searched including the use of parachute illuminating flares and the helicopter’s FLIR (forward looking infra-red) camera and apart from an item of clothing found on the main sands the search had negative results.

The area of search was extended to include the coast between St Mildred’s Bay Westgate and Winter Gardens to the east and after around an hour and a half of searching in improving light conditions with nothing found and no further reports the search was called off the call being considered a false alarm with good intent.

Nick Smith, Deputy Launching Authority, Margate RNLI said: “We are grateful for the report and particularly that the first informant remained on scene until the arrival of coastguard officers. If anyone sees or hears anything unusual on the coast or at sea, they should dial 999 and ask for coastguard.”

A Kent Police spokesperson added: ” Kent Police was called to Margate seafront to assist the Coastguard at around 5.10am after it was reported a person might be in distress. Police assisted in a local search however no person was located.”