RNLI and Coastguard teams called to reports of people in difficulty in sea at St Mildred’s Bay

Margate RNLI crew

Margate’s volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew were called into action today (July 2) following multiple reports of two people in difficulty in the sea at St Mildred’s Bay in Westgate.

UK Coastguard received reports around 5.30pm from worried members of the public. RNLI lifeguards were attempting a rescue. Margate’s D class inshore lifeboat was tasked along with Margate and Herne Bay Coastguard Rescue Teams.

The Margate coastguard team established that RNLI lifeguards at St Mildred’s Bay had gone to the assistance of the casualties and together with further assistance from the RNLI Lifeguard Rescue Water Craft from Margate Main Sands had recovered the two persons to the safety of shore.

While attending the incident the inshore lifeboat was diverted to an abandoned kite surfing rig off Westbrook Bay, spotted by personnel at the lifeboat station. The rig was recovered by the lifeboat and returned to Margate, UK Coastguard confirming they had been informed earlier in the day that it had been abandoned with the occupant safe ashore.

Derek Amas, Lifeboat Operations Manager, Margate RNLI said: “It was a relief that the original call had a happy ending but the important aspect of the abandoned rig incident was that the owner notified the coastguard that everyone was safe.

“Without this information the drifting rig would possibly have been spotted by vessels further offshore leading to a lengthy and anxious multi-agency search probably stretching into the night. We encourage the public to pass on such information to the coastguard and of course use the 999 system in the case of coastal emergencies.”