Margate RNLI responded to reports of multiple dinghies drifting seawards off the north Kent coast yesterday (June 26).
Around 4.30pm UK Coastguard received reports of three dinghies with four people onboard drifting seawards from Minnis Bay around four miles west of Margate. Swimmers and a kayak were reported to be attempting rescue.
Margate RNLI inshore lifeboat along with Margate Coastguard Rescue Team (CRT) were tasked to assist.
On arrival the lifeboat found an unmanned black inflatable ring and then carried out a search of the area. It was confirmed the occupants of all craft involved had managed to return to shore safely.
The lifeboat returned to station, checking the bays on the way for any further dinghies that could be affected by the offshore wind.
Ian Lowe, Deputy Launching Authority, Margate RNLI said: “Inflatable dinghies are particularly dangerous and susceptible to being blown seawards in offshore wind conditions, we urge beachgoers to use extreme caution with these toys.
“Under no circumstances should people enter the sea to attempt the rescue of any that are being blown seawards, remain on shore, keep the dinghy in sight and dial 999 and ask for coastguard.”
There were also call outs for Ramsgate RNLI yesterday. At 3:21pm the lifeboat was launched to a report of a group of people cut off by the tide near Stone Bay. Once on the scene the crew saw nine people making their way carefully back to the main beach.
Once the crew were happy they were safe, they made their way back to Ramsgate. At 3.50pm the crew was diverted to a small cabin cruiser with engine failure behind the Southern Breakwater. On scene the lifeboat attached a line and towed the casualty into the harbour.
A third call out at 9:41pm meant the crew launched to the assistance of a 29ft yacht with engine failure, one mile north of Ramsgate. The lifeboat passed a line and towed the casualty in to Ramsgate.