Multi-agency response after 40 people cut off by tide at Botany Bay in early hours

Margate B class lifeboat Colonel Stock with Coastguard helicopter (RNLI Margate exercise photo)

A major rescue operation was launched in the early hours of today (July 20) following reports of 40 people cut off by the tide and one person in difficulties in the sea to the east of Margate.

Shortly after midnight, UK Coastguard received reports of 40 people cut off by the tide at Botany Bay around two miles east of Margate.

A major rescue operation was launched involving Margate and Ramsgate RNLI’s B class inshore lifeboats along with Ramsgate RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat acting as On-scene Coordinator.

Coastguard Rescue Teams from Margate and Herne Bay were tasked along with the coastguard rescue helicopter from Lydd Airport, Kent Police also responded with a large number of units. Once on scene coastguard officers were informed that a naked male had entered the sea and was heard to be calling for help, he was not seen to leave the water.

The shoreside responders were able to guide the group to the safety of the clifftop via a cliff path, meanwhile a search operation got under way to find the person in the sea. The seaward search included the use of parachute illuminating flares, searchlights and airborne electronic detection aids with coastguard units carrying out a shoreline search.

Conditions were benign with little or no tidal effect restricting the search area to close inshore between North Foreland and Walpole Bay, Margate. After three hours of searching with the initial group safely recovered to the clifftop and no further reports of any missing persons the search was terminated and the rescue units released.

Lee Button, Deputy Launching Authority, Margate RNLI said: “All involved were faced with a potentially serious mass-casualty rescue operation, all in the dark. As well as the immediate concern for the reported person in the water there was the risk that some of the group would attempt to make their own way to safety complicating an already complex operation.

“Thankfully the shoreside teams were able to assist the group to safety and we urge people to think of the potential for being cut off by the tide when on beaches in the area.”


    • It was an illegal rave with DJ decks, lighting, and
      speakers. I hope the electronics all got confiscated or water damaged but I seriously doubt it.
      No doubt all their beer bottles, drug paraphernalia and laughing gas canisters got swept out to see as these people couldn’t care less about the environment and are too ignorant or high to realise how expensive it was to rescue them. They should definitely have all had their details taken and made to pay towards the rescue costs

      • Hello, they’ve blown this well out of proportion, myself and many people have link ups on that beach with artists being free and bringing people together. I weren’t there last night but I checked tide times as I do with every event, and we’re happy to get down there at low tide and stay until the next day in which we bag up all rubbish whilst having a morning jam and connect with out people and leave that beach as beautiful as it is because we respect it, love it and them nights take away all the bad we deal with, everyone has there outlets ours is to play music that makes you feel good and connect with people and share stories, open minds, maybe you should join us, I’ll bring the Binbags like I always do 😌 anyone else that wants to join please do, we’re seaside people we know that beach and the tide!🫶

      • I beg to differ as I never heard about it.these ‘ilegal’ raves you mention are nothing like what you’ve just mentioned you pleb. As I’ve been going to them for years! There’s NEVER ANY BLOODY RUBBISH LEFT WJEN WE LEAVE! We clear as we go, we mostly get greeted by decent dog walkers in the mornings that can all see our bin bags, and also in the 10 yes I’ve been partying down there numerous times a year I have never seen any drug taking. So I suggest you get your facts straight and keep your mouth buttoned, oh and by the way the fabulous Kent police have been down to many many phone calls and have checked in on us, not causing a problem but having fun ,dancing ,swimming ,and enjoying the weather. Perhaps that’s what you need , maybe then you wouldn’t appear be such a baffoon.

  1. The water can be as much as 6 inches deep at Spring high tide on that pinch point. Poor little loves, mustn’t get their designer shoes wet. Mummy would have to buy them a new pair

  2. They should be billed for the rescue or do community payback. People like this are a danger to themselves, not one brain cell between the lot of them

      • Technically smokers pay for there healthcare via the vast amount of tax they pay on tobacco throughout there lives, so no they shouldn’t be made to pay.

        These two things are not comparable though, the healthcare system is tax funded the RNLI is not, it’s a charity tun by volunteers, so you have just proved how stupid you are in your trolling comment, well done!

        • The tax smokers pay doesn’t cover the cost of healthcare. Let alone the cost of dealing with the disgusting litter it causes. You have just demonstrated how unpleasant you are. Well done.

          • Yes it does, look up the tax take from tobacco and the cost to the NHS from tobacco related illnesses. The government is still over 60% up after the cost of tobacco related illnesses to the NHS. So before making up statistics perhaps you should get some facts.

            Again they are not related though are they, the RNLI is a charity and relies on volunteers, so therefore these fools should be made to pay for the unnecessary cost that they have burdened the charity with.

          • Smokers die younger, saving the Exchequer billions in pension payments . They are not racking up care home fees and saving countless GP and hospital appointments associated with living into your 80s and 90s. They also pay considerable tax on every packet. In fact the success of the anti smoking lobby is a likely contributor to the crisis of elderly healthcare today

  3. Thank you so very much to the whole of the rescue team . I agree those concerned should make a very positive effort to raise funds for those services.

  4. The headline is abit misleading they werent cut of by the tidy the could use the exit on the cliff there. Surely to call out emergency services when you have no need to should be an offence.

    Now looking for someone in the water is an emergency call so why isnt that the headline ?

    We can guess lots of drunk people being twats basically

    • If you don’t know there’s a footpath (because you walk round the beach when the tide was lower) then you might think you were cut off.

    • No one called them, they got alerts on there phones and that raised the alarm but I was down there last year and you can still walk the other way

      • I never heard of anything happening down there last night, and most of the time I get a call. I almost wonder if this actually happened as all I’ve seen this week is hatred and bad news articles about people partying on beaches all over the country. Yesterday it was teens in Whitstable, the day before Cornwall, day before that I think somewhere up North.
        Then what happens is you get all of these people hating on us and the rest of ravers then before you know it the police get more power to stop us from doing it.
        And the fact the news reporter has just clicked on an image of a coastguard helicopter, in broad daylight says it all about he/her/they/thems reporting. Couldn’t go and get an actual picture of what went on. I call bull#@€t on this .

  5. Make them pay the cost of the rescue with costs. What were they doing there in the early hours if the morning. Were any offences taking place, if so prosecute them for that. Totally irresponsible idiots. But no these morons will just treat it as a joke. Next time let them swim…..

    • The guy swimming was nothing to do with the party, nothing irresponsible about Jamming on a beach, all good vibes, all good music that has been originally mixed by artists that are tryna get out there and bring people together in a beautiful setting… If you look to the history of that beach there has been many successful beautiful evenings with people from all over the world, I suggest you experience it before you slate it… every party Iv been to down there there’s been no need for security because not one violent thing has happened there’s been 4 stabbings down the pubs in ramsgate just recently… just think about that for a minute

  6. Nobody needed rescuing. There’s a path.
    Overblown response by emergency services and now the press.

  7. Tech Yes, So you’ve never seen any drug taking in 10 years, I call BS, you’ve never seen any rubbish left after one of these parties , that’s definitely BS. Nitrous Oxide and Weed are still drugs no matter what your spaced out little brain tells you.
    For someone who’s trying to come across as a decent peace loving party goer you actually come across as an aggressive chimp. Perhaps it’s time to put your dummy back in.

    • It hasn’t left my mouth yet Concerned. Aggressive no certainly not, but I do not back down from bullies, and you come accross as one. So have a great day sweetheart x

      • Tech YES

        you are aggressive and if you cant release that you have problems.

        Anyway when I use to go to parties they were called back than everyone would go down the cliff path. I mean everything the decks, genie, beer drugs, people.

        It seems now that the rave people dont know about the cliff pathway and carry everything from botany bay. There raves I went to in the hacienda we were of our face lol. Seems southern raves are drug free

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