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.
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.
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.”