Two anglers had to be rescued in a joint operation involving lifeboats from Whitstable and Margate, the Herne Bay Coastguard Rescue Team and the South East Coast Ambulance Service after their 14-foot dinghy was overwhelmed by a wave off Reculver between Herne Bay and Birchington on Wednesday morning.
The Whitstable Atlantic 85 Lifeboat Lewisco was launched at 8.52am after the UK Coastguard received a report from a person onshore who had spotted the anglers in distress. The location of the casualties was also confirmed by a passing yacht which was approximately 1-mile from the casualties but unfortunately on the wrong side of a sandbank and unable to reach them.
The Whitstable Lifeboat located the casualties almost immediately after arriving in the area. Helmsman Dave Parry said “The two men, one aged 74 and the other believed to be in his 60’s were in the water holding onto their upturned craft and we brought them onboard the lifeboat. They were both extremely cold and managed to tell us they had been in the water for around two and a half hours. Both were wrapped in thermal blankets and were proceeded to land them at the Neptune Slipway where the ambulance service and coastguard were waiting. In the meantime the Margate ‘All Weather’ lifeboat arrived to recover their dinghy”.
“It was very fortunate that we arrived when we did and given their condition the outcome may have been very different and it was fortunate that both the ‘first’ informant on shore and the yacht spotted and confirmed their position”.
Whitstable Lifeboat Operations Manager Mike Judge said “ The two were very lucky to survive the incident and it shows the value of people reporting what they see to the emergency services”.
Crew: Dave Parry (Helmsman, Andy Williams and Ruth Oliver.
Launchers: Andy Clarke (Tractor) Michael Coulson-Tabb and Ray Davies.
Weather conditions: South Westerly force 3 winds. Sunny.