In an emergency call 999 and ask for the Coastguard

Whitstable Lifeboat was launched at 3.25pm on Sunday following a report from the UK Coastguard of two children in an inflatable beach toy being blown offshore from Leysdown, Isle of Sheppey. The local beach lifeguard was also attending.

The lifeboat arrived ‘on scene’ and the crew located the dinghy and it’s two occupants aged 5 and 19 along with the lifeguard  a 1/2-mile off Leysdown Beach. The lifeguard had been unable to get them ashore due to the fresh breeze.

All were brought onboard the lifeboat and the landed ashore at Love Beach into the care of the Sheppey Coastguard and family members.

Whilst the lifeboat was at the beach, a 17-year old male who had initially swam out to try and assist  collapsed whilst talking to the crew. He was assessed and treated by the crew who requested an ambulance and was subsequently taken to hospital having ingested seawater.

Dave Parry, Helmsman of the Whitstable Lifeboat said “The use of inflatable beach toys has always been a worry to us. Our advice is that if people must use them, then they should always be aware of wind and tide and attach them to a suitable mooring. In offshore winds and on ebb tides inflatables can be very quickly blown out to sea and that was the case on this occasion in the south westerly force 5 winds”.