Margate and Ramsgate lifeboats assist grounded yacht off Minnis Bay

Margate B class RNLI lifeboat 'Colonel Stock' (RNLI Margate)

RNLI lifeboats from Margate and Ramsgate have provided assistance to a motor sailer aground off the north Kent coast.

UK Coastguard received a mobile phone call at around 4.30pm yesterday (Saturday 11 November) from the occupants of an 8m motor sailer reporting their vessel had run aground off Minnis Bay and required assistance. The craft had two occupants on board and was on passage from Queenborough to Margate.

Margate’s B class lifeboat was tasked to assist the vessel with Coastguard Rescue Teams from Margate and Herne Bay also responding to observe from ashore. The lifeboat found the craft aground on a rising tide on an exposed sandbank off Plum Pudding Island between Minnis Bay and Reculver Towers. The casualty vessel attempted to refloat itself but ran aground again after experiencing machinery problems so a lifeboat crew member was put aboard to assist further. One of the craft’s occupants suffered a minor injury to his hand so a second lifeboat crew member was put aboard with first aid equipment to provide casualty care.

After assessing the situation it was decided the best way to assist the vessel was to connect a towline and aid its refloating. Once safely afloat a further assessment established that with no other vessel able to assist with the now disabled craft it should be towed to a safe port of refuge. With insufficient water in Margate harbour the lifeboat and tow set out for Ramsgate and given the distance it was decided to launch Ramsgate’s all-weather lifeboat to take over the tow from Margate lifeboat. The two lifeboats rendezvoused off Foreness Point and the tow transferred to the Ramsgate lifeboat.

Around this time the casualty vessel started to take on water, the ingress of which was able to be controlled by pumps on board the vessel. It was decided therefore that the two crew members from Margate should remain on the vessel and the Margate lifeboat continue to escort the convoy to Ramsgate. Upon arrival at Ramsgate the craft was secured safely on a pontoon where they were met by coastguard officers. The lifeboats thereafter returned to their respective stations.

Derek Amas, Lifeboat Operations Manage, Margate RNLI said: “The injury to one of the yacht’s crew and ingress of water added to their problems; fortunately these complications were managed thanks to the lifeboat crews from Thanet’s two lifeboat stations and local coastguard teams, providing an example how these elements can integrate to resolve such situations – for the lifeboat crews putting their intense training into practice.”


  1. Well done to the Coastguards and especially the lifeboat crews.
    Good to see our lifeboats being used for their intended purpose.

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