Yesterday (October 18) was a busy day for the volunteers at Margate’s RNLI lifeboat station with a training exercise for the all-weather lifeboat and two calls for the inshore lifeboat
Sunday morning usually involves training for Margate’s lifeboat crew but while the all-weather lifeboat was exercising off North Foreland UK Coastguard received a report of a small craft aground on rocks near Beresford Gap, Birchington.
Margate coastguard rescue team (CRT) was tasked to investigate and found the vessel aground as reported. With concern that it may suffer damage upon refloating Margate’s RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched to assist. Once on scene the lifeboat established the ten-foot long, outboard-powered angling dinghy had launched from Herne Bay the previous evening on a fishing trip and after running aground had spent the night on the rocks at Beresford Gap.
The craft was towed clear on the rising tide by the lifeboat and once it was confirmed that the three occupants, who had travelled down from London with the boat on a traile,r were unharmed, the dinghy returned to Herne Bay under its own power.
Shortly after the inshore lifeboat had returned and been made ready for service, UK Coastguard received another call reporting a capsized dinghy with one person on the upturned hull around half a mile off Westgate.
The inshore lifeboat was soon on its way again with Margate Coastguard also responding. The lifeboat found the craft which was a sailing dinghy out for a morning’s sail from Margate. The vessel had capsized with its sails set and the sole occupant was able to maintain contact until the lifeboat arrived. The occupant was taken on board the lifeboat and the dinghy was righted and towed back to Margate harbour. The occupant unharmed after his adventure. Margate Yacht Club’s safety boat was also launched to assist and escorted the convoy back to Margate.
Paul Hodson, Lifeboat Operations Manager, Margate RNLI said: “Fortunately we had a full complement of crew at the station and were able to respond quickly to both incidents while the all-weather lifeboat was on exercise in the area and able to provide back-up if required.
“With the onset of autumn now the sea and air temperature will be a lot lower than high summer so particularly with the second call, speed was of the essence.”