Margate RNLI was called out due to concerns for the safety of two swimmers off Margate’s main sands yesterday evening (July 31).
UK Coastguard was contacted by a member of the public around 6.30pm reporting his concern for two female friends who were swimming some way off Margate main sands and were having difficulty making their way back to shore.
Margate’s RNLI inshore lifeboat along with Margate coastguard rescue team, were alerted and despite the beach still being packed with visitors and after a quick search the lifeboat found the two women who were beyond the main body of bathers and beyond the seaward side of the boating pool. When approached both appeared well and not in difficulty though one admitted to being a weak swimmer and taking her time returning to shore.
To comply with Covid-19 protocols the lifeboat escorted the swimmers to shore rather than taking them on the lifeboat to protect both the swimmers and the crew. When they reached the shallows, they were reunited with their friend and members of the coastguard team who offered words of advice. The lifeboat returned to station.
Ian Lowe, Deputy Launching Authority, Margate RNLI said: “The first informant took exactly the correct course of action in raising the alarm at the first realisation of concern, minutes can make a difference and we are never sorry to attend a false alarm rather than be too late.
“It may have been the warmest day of the year but the sea will be deceptively cold with the possibility of cold water shock affecting swimmers.’