Margate’s two RNLI lifeboats responded to two simultaneous calls today (June 12) in what has been a busy weekend for the volunteer crew.
UK Coastguard was contacted by one person aboard a yacht at around 4pm reporting they had hit a submerged object around a mile off Birchington-on-Sea. It was established the craft had run aground on an isolated sandbank to the east of the Hook Sands.
Margate’s D class inshore lifeboat was tasked to assist but soon after launching was diverted to check on a jet-ski which was indicating signs of distress off the lifeboat station. The B class lifeboat was launched to assist the original casualty and after the D class had established that all was well with the jet-ski also continued with the original tasking.
The yacht had run aground close to low water and once on scene the lifeboat crew checked on the welfare of the occupant who was safe and well. After assessing the situation, it was agreed that the B class lifeboat would put a line aboard the yacht and assist it to refloat on the rising tide. The craft was subsequently refloated and after checking that it had not sustained any damage was escorted until off Margate. It then continued its passage to Ramsgate. The lifeboats returned to station.
Derek Amas, Lifeboat Operations Manager, Margate RNLI said: “The fine weather has led to a busy period for our volunteers including attending two yachts aground within a few days on offshore sandbanks which are to be found in the Thames Estuary.
“Seafarers should always notify the coastguard in such circumstances and of course if anyone sees anything at all untoward from shoreside dial 999 and ask for coastguard.”