The 10 occupants including one child of a 34ft angling boat had to be landed ashore by the Whitstable Lifeboat after their craft started taking in water and sinking in the entrance to the Swale on Sunday afternoon in a rescue operation that also involved the Margate ‘All Weather Lifeboat’.
The rescue operation began when Whitstable’s Atlantic 85 Inshore Lifeboat Lewisco which had earlier been taking part with the Margate Lifeboat in a display as part of the Whitstable Regatta was requested to proceed to assist the craft in the vicinity of the Horse Sand in the entrance to the Swale off Faversham.
The lifeboat arrived ‘on scene’ at 3.05pm and located the casualty vessel at anchor a ½-mile south west of the Sand End Buoy. A lifeboat crewmember and salvage pump were put onboard the craft but after some 20-minutes the pumping operation had made little improvement to the water level.
It was therefore decided to request the assistance of the Margate Lifeboat which was still in the Whitstable area and carries a larger capacity salvage pump and she arrived on scene at 4.00pm. One of her crew and the larger pump were transferred to the casualty vessel.
Meanwhile the occupants of the angling boat had been brought onboard the Whitstable Lifeboat and taken ashore at Harty on the Isle of Sheppey.
At 5.15pm pumping operations had reduced the water level sufficiently for the casualty vessel to taken under tow by Margate Lifeboat and beached at Hollowshore in the entrance to Faversham Creek were the Sheppey Mobile Coastguard Unit were waiting to assist.
At 5.24pm both lifeboats were released from the operation to return to their respective stations.
Having just returned to station and been placed back in her launching carriage, Whitstable Lifeboat was again requested to launch, to a report of two inflatable’s in difficulty off Leysdown, Isle of Sheppey.
The lifeboat arrived ‘on scene’ at 5.51pm and the crew located one inflatable with two persons onboard and an RNLI Lifeguard in attendance 500-yards offshore.
All were brought onboard the lifeboat along with an inflatable Kayak with one occupant which had come out to assist and landed ashore to the care of the Sheppey Coastguard who was waiting on Leysdown Beach.
Earlier in the day, Whitstable Lifeboat was launched at 12.37 to assist a kite surfer who had been observed as being in difficulties from the lifeboat station.
The lifeboat arrived at the scene to find that the casualt and another kite surfer who had gone to assist had made their own way safely ashore onto the beach near the East Quay.
So far this year Whitstable Lifeboat has had 31 call outs!
Crew: Robin Nicholls, Dave Parry, Rob Judge, Tim Smith
Launchers: Mark Sidders (Tractor), Alex Quan, John Skinner