Ramsgate RNLI called to rescue beached boat at Broadstairs

Ramsgate RNLI called in to rescue the pilot boat Photo Tony Martin

Ramsgate RNLI crews were called in to help a pilot boat beached at Broadstairs last night (December 7).

At 7.41pm both the Inshore David and Claire Delves and the All weather Windsor Runner (Civil Service no. 42)vessels  launched to reports of a boat taking on water that had beached itself at Viking Bay. The beaching was deliberate due to the amount of water that was being taken onboard.

On arrival two crew from the ILB went onboard in horrendous conditions, as Storm Barra was making its presence known with gusts up to 52 knots ( a force 9)  south westerly, and a large salvage pump was taken onboard to pump the water out, watched by a large crowd on Broadstairs Pier.

Photo Tony Martin

Once the pump was running the Inshore picked the tow rope up from the All weather as that boat could not approach the casualty due to the lack of depth as the tide was falling.

They took one end of the tow, motoring up tide due the drag of the tow ropes, and attached it to the casualty and then the All weather towed them out into deeper water. When in deeper water the All weather transferred the tow rope to its stern and then proceeded to tow the casualty back to the safety of Ramsgate.

Photo Karen Cox/Ramsgate RNLI

Once back in the harbour the casualty was able to make their own way to the travel hoist to be lifted out of the water for inspection by the harbour staff. Both RNLI boats then returned to station.

The pilot boat Estuary Leader took on the water after being holed on the port bow.

A Ramsgate RNLI spokesperson said: “ This must have looked very dramatic for the people watching on the harbour especially given the conditions. However this is what we are trained for and we have all the necessary equipment and waterproof clothing thanks to the generosity of the public, as we are solely funded by donations.”


  1. Well done RNLI, a successful conclusion to a situation that had the potential to be very different and life threatening.
    Good crew, good boats, good equipment, well trained and dedicated to respond to whatever the sea can throw .
    As stated, entirely funded by public donations .

  2. Well done all round: promot action by the skipper of the pilot boat saved it from sinking, followed by a rescue by the RNLI.

  3. when you think of the cost and the lives put at risk to rescue these idiots that have put to sea in those conditions i think they should be sent the bill for the rescue.

    • Stop eating, buying plastic rubbish and using fuel when it’s rough and we won’t have to go out in ‘these conditions’, as we don’t really want to anyway. Regards from a Pilot.

    • The boat being rescued was a pilot boat.inbound to Rams gate , they are NOT IDIOTS they are working men how dare you say such things you owe them an APOLOGY asap !!!

    • When you say these idiots, do you mean the brave crews and pilots of the
      pilots boats? Who have to go out in all weathers 24 hours a day 365 days a year. To pilot ships up and down the Thames. So we can get food and just about everything else from abroad.

      • Yes Paul I hope they get an apology from real world ,have messaged Mark Stanford to see if it was his shift involved , some people are so ignorant , I fund raise for Rams gate lifeboat and thank God they we t to their aid in the terrible weather , 😐

  4. Good job it happend at night and rough weather if it was daylight and calm seas the life boat would of been else where

  5. Well done to all involved. RNLI and the pilot boats provide a 24/7 quality life saving service. Absolute hats off to all of them

  6. I have worked off shore, and 40 odd years ago had a friend who was a skipper of a Dover Pilot launch, and I would sometimes join him on board. I can tell anyone that the Pilot skippers are highly skilled, and experienced, and I witnessed the transfer of Pilots onto and off massive ships, in all kinds of foul weather! I totally admired the Pilots, some of them in their 60’s and even 70′, jumping from a ship to the Pilot launch with immense dexterity, and courage! My thoughts are how did this Pilot launch get holed?

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