Ramsgate RNLI rescue overboard fisherman, children swept to sea on kayak and yacht with engine failure

Inshore lifeboat returning from Sandwich Bay. Photo by Mark Stanford

Ramsgate RNLI crews had a busy day yesterday (July 23) when they were called to a fisherman who had gone overboard, a yacht with engine failure and two children in an inflatable kayak swept out to sea.

At 6pm the Inshore Lifeboat was launched to a report of two children in an inflatable kayak by Sandwich Bay who had been swept out to sea. Their mother was  attempting to swim out and reach them.

On scene the crew found the children to be ok and safe for the time being, so immediately went to the aid of mother, who was brought onboard. They then returned to the kayak and got the two children aboard and took them all to the beach. The family was handed over to Deal mobile Coastguard so the mother could be assessed as she was coughing due to water intake and was cold.

Earlier in the day a crew had launched at 1.29pm to go to the aid of a fisherman who had gone overboard at the back of the Southern Breakwater. He was attempting to haul in his anchor, lost his footing and went over the side.

Luckily he was wearing a life jacket which immediately inflated. The tide was running hard at 4 knots and swept him onto the rocks which make up the Breakwater.

He was able to clamber over them and into the relatively calm, sheltered waters of the Port turning circle. The inshore lifeboat recovered him from the water and placed a member of their own crew into his fishing boat to assist the other novice fisherman in bringing the vessel into the harbour.

The casualty was cold, tired and wet but very grateful to the volunteer crew.

Inshore Lifeboat towing the stricken vessel. Photo by Emma Sutton

On returning to station the crew were met by the Dock Masters who were concerned about  a yacht that had radioed three hours before. A call had been made to HM Coastguard by a yacht on passage to Ramsgate that had suffered engine failure.

They had decided to sail onto Ramsgate and arrangements had been made for a harbour boat to bring them in and assist them in berthing.

However communications had been poor as they were also having issues with their radio and the boat was overdue. After discussions with Port Control and the Coastguard the inshore lifeboat set off to find the yacht at 1.45pm and discovered it had overshot Ramsgate and was in Stone Bay. A rope was passed to the casualty and the yacht towed safely back to Ramsgate, staying close inshore to avoid the fast moving tide.

The yacht being moored in Ramsgate Harbour. Photo by Maz Critchley.

An RNLI spokesperson said: “These are three very different stories but all highlight the need to be prepared and heed safety advice when heading to the seaside. Thankfully everyone was safe but all outcomes could have been very different, if the fisherman hadn’t been wearing a life jacket, if the Dock Masters hadn’t raised the alarm and if the children and their mother hadn’t been reached by the lifeboat crew.

“Around 150 people die by accident each year in the UK with the Lifeboat launching 9000 times in 2018. Without the support of the public the RNLI would be unable to continue their role of Saving Lives at Sea.”