Date 15th July 2015
Casualty Drifting motor cruiser
Wind NW 2
Launch time 1505
Recovery Time 1714
Crew Dave Parry, Robin Nicholls, Richard Curtis, Andy Williams
Whitstable Lifeboat was launched following numerous 999 calls to Thames Coastguard reporting a drifting motor cruiser off Tankerton.
The lifeboat crew located the 30-foot vessel almost on the beach near the Tankerton Bay Sailing Club and towed the craft to deeper water. The vessel was found with a generator running and the cabin door open. There was no sign of anyone onboard.
With the possibility that there may be someone in the water the lifeboat crew anchored the vessel and commenced a search of the area west of the craft’s position.
The lifeboat was joined in the search by the RAF Sea King helicopter from Wattisham in Suffolk, the Herne Bay Coastguard Unit, and the Sheerness Lifeboat was also heading for the scene. A windfarm vessel and the sailing barge Greta, which were both returning to Whitstable harbour, were also asked to keep a look out.
After a search of approximately an hour both the lifeboat and helicopter were ‘stood down’ when the two occupants of the vessel contacted the lifeboat station to report that they were safe having moored the vessel of The Longbeach and gone ashore in their tender.
The motor cruiser had broken its mooring and drifted east on the wind and tide. The owner discovered the craft was missing when they returned and realised the search was probably for them.
The lifeboat then escorted the two occupants in their tender to their vessel before returning to station.