Ramsgate RNLI called to cabin cruiser in distress

Ramsgate RNLI guides the vessel into harbour Photo by RNLI Ramsgate Mechanic Phil Mace

Ramsgate’s Inshore Lifeboat “ Claire and David Delves” was launched yesterday evening (April 13) at the request of UK Coastguard to aid a ten metre cabin cruiser with engine failure.

Those onboard had made a Pan-pan call by phone. A Pan-pan is the international urgency call indicating that someone aboard a boat is declaring an urgent situation that is not an immediate threat to either the vessel or the people on board. Pan-pan is from the French word panne meaning breakdown.

The initial position was given as four and a half miles South of Ramsgate. The Inshore Lifeboat made their way to the position given by the Coastguard, but found nothing in the area. They then made their way further south where they spotted a vessel roughly one and a half miles away and found it to be the casualty. The crew took the craft under tow and guided it into Ramsgate Royal Harbour.

Photo by RNLI Ramsgate Mechanic Phil Mace

The original position given by the Coastguard had been estimated by tracing the casualty’s mobile phone signal, as this was the means they used to contact the Coastguard.

After securing the cabin cruiser to the pontoon the volunteer crew returned the lifeboat to the station.

With restrictions slowly being lifted and the Summer approaching the RNLI is expecting an increase in calls. The RNLI relies purely on donations from the public so after a year where they have been unable to fund raise in the normal way support from the public more than ever.


  1. Were the owners qualified to use an inshore motor boat, or did they just buy one, throw it in the sea, and thought I know its a nice day, lets go for jaunt! Many decades ago I wanted to try sailing, and anyone can buy a dinghy, dump it in the sea, and end up drowning, or getting into trouble. Instead I took a Royal Yachting Association course in Dover, which took a few Sunday mornings, but eventually passed the course, and could sail a dinghy with confidence, which I did do, and not just in this country! There should be some form of licensing before someone drives off on one of these boats, and a penalty fine if they get themselves into trouble at sea requiring Coast Guard/RNLI assistance!

  2. Yachtmaster of Day Skipper training and exams don’t really teach you much about engine maintenance, just basic checks an dos and don’ts. The VHF radio course is also separate. So it only sounds like reporting their position was at fault.
    We are lucky in this country to retain the freedom to go to sea in any craft under 25m without any prior experience or licensing. Other countries have gone down that route and the basic level certificates and worthless and only give false confidence to those who have them.
    It is customary for leisure craft users to make a donation to the RNLI when they have required their assistance. Hopefully it happened in this case.

Comments are closed.