Margate’s B class RNLI lifeboat has been in action after a yacht ran aground around nine miles north west of Margate
UK Coastguard received a Pan Pan urgency message from the yacht, with three persons on board around 6pm yesterday (Thursday 2 June) reporting they had run aground on the Pan Sand, nine miles north west of Margate, while on passage from Queenborough to Belgium.
The tide was ebbing, around three hours before low water and the vessel soon developed a list of around forty-five degrees. Margate’s B class Atlantic 85 lifeboat was tasked to assess the situation and provide assistance including evacuating the crew if required.
Once on scene the lifeboat crew checked on the welfare of the occupants who were well but as the yacht would not refloat for several hours it was decided to take the three crew members off and land them back at Margate. The vessel was made secure and an anchor laid out and the casualties were met at Margate by members of Margate Coastguard Rescue Team.
It was considered prudent for the yacht’s crew to remain ashore and they were ‘bedded down’ in the boathouse, there being no hotel accommodation available locally. The lifeboat re-launched around 10.30pm on the flood tide to recover the vessel as it posed a potential hazard to navigation.
Once the yacht was afloat it was taken in tow by the lifeboat to Ramsgate harbour where it was reunited with its crew. The lifeboat returned to station and was back ready for service by 5am today (Friday 3 June).
Derek Amas, Lifeboat Operations Manager, Margate Lifeboat, said: “This was a long and protracted call for the volunteer crew after they had spent the day at the boathouse to ensure a rapid response with expected heavy holiday traffic in the town.
“The safety of the yacht’s occupants was the priority but it was also prudent to assist when the casualty vessel refloated and help avoid any potential problems in an area close to busy shipping lanes.”