Margate RNLI called to two evening reports of swimmers in difficulty

Margate RNLI D class inshore lifeboat (RNLI Margate)

Margate RNLI volunteers responded twice in as many hours yesterday (July 5) to reports of people in difficulties in the sea off Margate.

UK Coastguard received a 999 call from a member of the public around 7.30pm reporting a swimmer possibly in difficulties off Margate main sands. The town’s D class inshore lifeboat was tasked to investigate, Margate Coastguard Rescue Team was also called out to make observations from the shore.

The lifeboat discovered several people in shallow water off the main sands but as the swimmer had been seen to go around the harbour arm to the east, the lifeboat widened its search and located a swimmer answering the description and in the estimated position. He was returning to shore and after checking on his welfare the lifeboat conducted a further search of the immediate area after which it returned to station.

Two hours later, around 9.30pm, another report was received of two people in difficulties near the tide gauge beacon north of Margate harbour. The inshore lifeboat and local coastguard team were again tasked and two people in canoes were found at the beacon. It was reported they may have been jumping off the beacon and while they were not in need of assistance, as the light was fading, they were escorted back to the beach by the lifeboat where safety advice was provided.

Christian Wright, Deputy Launching Authority, Margate RNLI said: “While these calls were both false alarms, we thank the members of the public for calling them in. If swimmers encounter difficulties, we are reliant on their plight being spotted from ashore and the public’s diligence could help save a life – in a coastal emergency dial 999 and ask for coastguard.”