Margate’s RNLI all-weather lifeboat was called to the aid of a yacht with two people on board after their vessel became disabled yesterday (October 5)
At around 1.30pm Kent Police received a 999 call from the occupants of an 8m yacht saying their craft was about 2km off Margate and had broken down and they required assistance. There were communication problems with the vessel both from a loss of phone signal and language difficulties and the information was passed to UK Coastguard for action.
A small craft was visible around five miles offshore from the lifeboat station near the main sands and Margate’s coastguard rescue team was tasked to find the casualty vessel visually after which Margate’s RNLI all-weather lifeboat was tasked to identify the vessel and provide assistance.
Once the lifeboat found the casualty it was established that it had suffered a total electrical failure. The two occupants were safe and well. It was not possible to solve the problem and the craft was taken in tow to the safety of Ramsgate harbour where they were met by coastguard officers.
Peter Barker, Deputy Launching Authority Margate RNLI said: “The tasking was complicated by the casualty vessel relying on a mobile telephone as its means of communication, probably due to the electrical failure. Mobile phone coverage at sea is very poor and in this situation, a handheld battery-powered marine VHF radio, in addition to a fixed radio installation would have enabled reliable communication with the coastguard and other nearby vessels. If a mobile phone has to be used, dial 999 and ask for coastguard.”