RNLI lifeboats from Margate and Ramsgate have assisted a 38ft Belgian yacht after it ran aground on an offshore sandbank nine miles north west of Margate.
UK Coastguard received a call from a merchant ship in the Thames Estuary around 6am today (Sunday 21 May) reporting the sighting of a yacht aground on the Pan Sand off the north Kent coast. Intermittent radio communication was established with the yacht which had three persons on board on passage from St Katherine Docks in London to Belgium.
Margate’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat was tasked and located the casualty vessel which was aground high and dry on a falling tide. After assessing the situation and taking into account the weather conditions it was agreed that Ramsgate RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat should launch to provide additional assistance if required.
The lifeboat from Margate put a crew member aboard the craft and a towline to the casualty vessel was established with the lifeboat able to refloat the yacht on the rising tide with Ramsgate’s all-weather lifeboat standing by. Safety checks established the yacht was undamaged and the occupants were content to continue their voyage to Nieuwpoort Belgium. After escorting the casualty vessel for a while and ensuring all was well on board the yacht both lifeboats returned to station.
Lee Button, Deputy Launching Authority, Margate RNLI said: “Weather conditions were not ideal for a yacht to find itself aground nine miles from the station so it was prudent for Ramsgate’s all-weather lifeboat to also be tasked to provide additional assistance. We are grateful to our colleagues at Ramsgate for providing the back-up.”