Two RNLI lifeboats, coastguard search teams and a coastguard helicopter have carried out an intensive search off Margate today (September 19) following a report of a swimmer possibly in difficulties.
UK Coastguard was contacted by a member of the public at around expressing concern for a swimmer seen to be entering the water at Botany Bay.
Margate’s RNLI inshore lifeboat along with Margate coastguard rescue team were immediately tasked to start a search of the area, Margate’s all-weather lifeboat also launched to provide additional search capability and safety cover for the inshore lifeboat which was operating inshore close to the surf line in inclement weather conditions with a strong easterly breeze and moderate sea.
The coastguard rescue helicopter from Lydd Airport was exercising in the area and joined the search and along with the lifeboats, coastguard shore teams and Kent Police, searched the coastline and secluded bays between Foreness Point and Botany Bay.
After around an hour of searching it was established that the call was a false alarm with good intent and the search was terminated, all units stood down to return to station.
Ian Lowe, Deputy Launching Authority, Margate RNLI said: “This weekend, forecast strong winds along with the spring tides made for the predicted rough seas. But as reported by the crew of the Inshore lifeboat, when close to shore in a protected bay you would not know it. It is just such conditions which pose a danger to swimmers who quickly can get into dangerous conditions only a short distance offshore.
“We would always prefer to launch to a false alarm with good intent than spend hours searching for a casualty in rough conditions when the person is eventually reported as missing. If you see anyone in danger on the coast or at sea dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”