There have been four calls on Whitstable RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews over weekend.
At 10.30am on Saturday Whitstable’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat Lewisco was launched following a report from the UK Coastguard of a 34ft motor cruiser broken down in the South Deep in The Swale near to Conyer.
The lifeboat arrived ‘on scene’ and it was found that the casualty vessel did not have enough battery power to start its engine.
The lifeboat towed the vessel to Conyer Creek and placed the craft alongside in the marina before returning to station.
Whitstable’s volunteer crewmembers responded to the second call of the day when at 9.07pm the lifeboat was launched to a report of a 30ft trimaran sinking off the Isle of Sheppey with two adult and one juvenile males onboard, one of whom, the skipper was unwell.
On arrival at the scene two lifeboat crew went onboard the casualty vessel to access the occupants who showed no high risk cause for concern. Therefore the craft was taken under tow to rendezvous with the Sheerness ‘all weather’ lifeboat which then took over the tow.
Following this incident the lifeboat was ‘retasked’ by the coastguard to locate and investigate the condition of a 20ft motor cruiser and its occupants off Leysdown. The lifeboat crew located the craft with two adult males onboard which was on passage from London to Portsmouth. The occupants reported that they did not require immediate assistance and were happy to remain at anchor overnight and continue their passage in the morning.
However on Sunday morning they discovered the vessel leaking and were unable to restart the engine. Whitstable lifeboat was asked to attend and a salvage pump placed onboard whilst the two occupants were taken ashore into the care of the Sheppey coastguard unit.
The motor cruiser was then taken under tow by the Sheerness lifeboat to a mooring in Queenborough.
The lifeboat was launched for the fourth time over the weekend when on Sunday evening at 9.55pm the lifeboat was called to a report of a 21ft motor vessel aground in The Swale off Harty Ferry.
The lifeboat located the casualty vessel with six persons and a dog onboard aground on the Horse Sand between Harty and Faversham Creek and two crewmembers waded through 1ft of water to attach a towline.
Due to a lack of fuel the craft was then taken under tow to Conyer Creek and after the tow was detached at the creek entrance the vessel then followed the lifeboat to a berth where the Herne Bay Coastguard Rescue Team were waiting.
Weather conditions at the time were fair with good visability and a north easterly force 3-4 wind. None of those onboard the craft required medical attention.
There have now been 22 calls so far this year for Whitstable’s volunteer lifeboat crew.
Crewmembers involved in both calls: Tim Smith and Ben Crosswell (Helmsmen) Dave Parry, Craig Sidders, Vicky Kypta, Liam Sidders, and Stuart Enderby with launchers Neil Pepper and Andy Clarke (tractor drivers) Dom Cutress, Oz Warren, Chris Branscombe-Ling,Mark Sidders, Alex Quan and Jay Collins.
On Sunday: Andy Mayo and Mike Keam( Helmsmen) crew, Andy Williams, Liam Sidders and Alex Quan with launchers John Keam (tractor) and Neil Pepper, Mike Keam, Dom Cutress and Chris Branscombe-Ling.
Weather conditions: North easterly force 1 winds, good to excellent visibility and a calm sea.
With 3-4 winds for the call on Sunday evening.