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27th November 2017


Four all weather lifeboats at Ramsgate


Other than on special occasions it is unusual to see four all weather lifeboats in one location anywhere outside of the RNLI's Poole HQ but visitors to Ramsgate's Royal Harbour on Sunday were able to see four.


Pictured from left to right moored alongside Ramsgate RNLI's lifeboat station are nearby Margate RNLI's Mersey 12-20 Leonard Kent, just visiting, and the station's Trent 14-02 Esme Anderson. Alongside that is relief Trent 14-12 Forward Birmingham, in the relief fleet since 2008 having previously been the Exmouth station boat since 1996 and which has been covering at Ramsgate during the refit of the station boat.


On the quay behind is the relief Mersey 12-005 Lady of Hilbre which has been in the relief fleet since 2014, having previously been the Hoylake station boat since 1990, and spending time at Ramsgate until called into service as a station relief.


Photo Steve Burton

16 November 2017

Ramsgate assist windfarm guardship


On 13th November at 5:35am Ramsgate RNLI's Trent class all weather lifeboat (AWB) launched to assist a 23m. Thanet Offshore Windfarm guard vessel with engine failure 9 miles east of Ramsgate.


Another guard vessel was attempting to tow it without much success due to the wind and tide. On scene the volunteer RNLI AWB crew took over the tow and brought the vessel into Ramsgate Harbour.


Once in the outer harbour, at 9.03am, the AWB requested the assistance of the station's Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat (ILB) to assist with mooring the casualty vessel alongside the commercial quay due to its weight and windage.

Photo Mark Stanford

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16th October 2017

Queen presents retired Ramsgate lifeboat coxswain with MBE


Ron Cannon, an active RNLI volunteer for 53 years and former coxswain of Ramsgate lifeboat, was presented with an MBE by Her Majesty the Queen on Friday last (13 October) for his services to the charity that saves lives at sea.


He was a crew member on Ramsgate lifeboat at one of the busiest stations in Britain for 37 years – and the coxswain for 25 of those. During his time at the helm of Ramsgate lifeboat he was awarded two Silver Gallantry medals - the RNLI’s second-highest honour. Following family tradition, Ron joined Ramsgate lifeboat crew in 1964, and was appointed the station’s coxswain/mechanic in 1976, at the time the RNLI’s youngest coxswain. This was shortly before the arrival at the station of the RNLI’s Waveney class lifeboat Ralph and Joy Swann, a new and advanced lifeboat design based upon a vessel proven by the US Coastguard.


He was twice awarded the RNLI’s Silver Medal for his ‘truly outstanding seamanship and tremendous courage’ for rescues. The first was during the evening of Boxing Day 1985 when he and his volunteer lifeboat crew members managed to save a French trawler and its seven-man crew when the trawler had run aground in Ramsgate’s Pegwell Bay. The second was in November 1999, when he led his crew to rescue the three-person crew of a yacht aground on the Goodwin Sands in difficult and dangerous conditions. For each of these rescues he was also presented with The Maud Smith Award for that year’s bravest act of lifesaving by a lifeboat crew member.


Ron retired as coxswain in 2001 and was succeeded by his eldest son Ian. He maintained his association with Ramsgate lifeboat station firstly as a Deputy Launching Authority and subsequently as Lifeboat Operations Manager until he reached the RNLI’s required retirement age. His active support for the RNLI and the station continues, however, as President of the station’s management committee.

13th October 2017


Broadstairs RNLI sales volunteers celebrate a successful season


The RNLI sales kiosk volunteers who had worked hard during the summer season in Broadstairs had an end of season get together yesterday to celebrate their success.


The event was kindly hosted by the Broadstairs Sailing Club who provide the free use of the kiosk for the RNLI to sell souvenirs. Also in attendance was Amanda Champs, the RNLI Margate Shop Manager who kindly supplied the stock for the kiosk.


A presentation of a framed photo taken by Ramsgate Lifeboat Treasurer, Steve Burton, was presented to Sailing Club Commodore Pat Clarke by the kiosk manager, Jean Hefford, as a thank you to the Sailing Club for all their support.


Jean Hefford announced that the kiosk had taken in excess of £5,000 during the season and thanked all the kiosk volunteers, Amanda Champs and the Broadstairs Sailing Club for all their hard work and support.

Photo Sarah Hewes

2nd October 2017


Successful Fish Supper at Ramsgate


Many thanks to everyone who supported our sell-out Fish Supper at the lifeboat station on Saturday last.


It was a most enjoyable and successful evening resulting in £483.40 being raised towards the work of the RNLI. £25 worth of Ramsgate lifeboat calendars were also sold.


Special thanks to the local prize winning Newington Fish Bar for supplying the wonderful food and for their very kind donation. The entertainment was provided by the awesome Greyhound Buskers, they were just outstanding and performed a much requested encore. They also presented us with an extremely generous donation of £100.


Photo Sarah Hewes

24th August 2017


Ramsgate Junior Fishing Competition raises money for the RNLI


Ramsgate RNLI lifeboat crew member Jason Parrott, also the owner of an angling boat, organised a 'Junior Fishing Challenge' which took place on 22 August with all money raised going to Ramsgate RNLI.


Fifty children took part in the competition and all were taken to sea off the local coast in nine local angling boats, the owners of which all provided their boats and time free of charge in support of the event. All fish caught were weighed and counted and returned to the sea alive.


During the early afternoon all involved in the competition came to the Ramsgate RNLI boathouse where refreshments were provided. Cups were awarded to class winners and everyone taking part in the competition was awarded a prize all of which were donated by local businesses and were presented by Ramsgate Coxswain Ian Cannon and Station Chairman Eric Burton.


By the end of the event some £2,200 had been raised with the final total anticipated to be in the region of £2,500 and, because of it's success it was announced that it was intended that the challenge will become an annual event.


All at Ramsgate RNLI would like to thank Jason Parrott for all his hard work, the boat owners for there time and support, all the competitors and all of the very generous donors who provided funding and prizes for the challenge.


Photo Sarah Hewes

14 August 2017


Busy Sunday at Ramsgate


Ramsgate RNLI’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat (ILB) launched three times yesterday.


The first launch of the Claire and David Delves was at 3:23am following a report of a person in the water off Ramsgate’s main sands. The ILB crew searched using searchlights and a parachute flare and found the person, who was then taken to hospital for a check up.


At 11.27am the ILB launched again to a 5m. speedboat with engine failure off Broadstairs with two people on board. When on scene the RNLI crew passed a line to the speedboat which was towed safely into Ramsgate Harbour.


The final call of the day was 6.45pm when ILB Launched to an 11m. yacht with two people on board and engine failure, half a mile south of Ramsgate Harbour. When on scene the lifeboat transferred a crew member to the yacht to assist with the recovery of the yacht’s anchor. When this had been safely completed a rope was passed and the yacht towed safely (pictured) into Ramsgate Harbour.


Photo Mark Stanford

18th July 2017


Safety warning after sharp-eyed Kent lifeguards save walkers cut off by the tide


Visitors to the UK’s beaches are being urged to always seek advice about local tides and weather conditions after three teenage walkers were rescued by RNLI lifeguards and the Ramsgate inshore lifeboat yesterday (Thursday 27 July) afternoon.


Quick-thinking RNLI lifeguards Katie Fidock and Taine Carrick, who were patrolling Stone Bay at Broadstairs in Kent, raised the alarm at 1.30pm after realising that three people they had spotted walking across the sands towards Joss Bay, to the north of Broadstairs, had been cut off by the tide and were surrounded by water.


Katie immediately launched on her rescue board from Stone Bay to reach the three walkers and was soon joined by lifeguard Taine Carrick who launched from Viking Bay. However with the tide quickly rising and coming in fast, the RNLI lifeguards realised they were running out of time to get the three people to safety and the Ramsgate inshore lifeboat (ILB) was launched to assist.


The lifeguards remained with the two teenage boys and one girl to make sure they were safe before the lifeboat arrived. Taine and Katie then ferried the teenagers across to the ILB on their rescue boards.


‘This could so easily have ended in a tragedy if our lifeguards had not spotted the danger,’ said Area Lifesaving Manager James Uren. ‘This is a regular cut-off point when we get a high tide in the afternoon.’


‘People set off from Stone Bay trying to make it around the headland to Joss Bay and suddenly find that the tide is coming in much faster and the water is much deeper than they realise.’


He explained that the situation is made even more dangerous by the sea defences at Joss Bay which can act as a further barrier when they round the headland. ‘It’s a well- known pinch point,’ he said.


‘The walkers who were trying to get around to Joss Bay were fully clothed and had no intention of going into the water,’ added James. ‘It’s a fitting reminder that of the 190 people who drown in UK and Irish waters each year, more than half of them never intended to get wet.’


RNLI Community Safety Partner Guy Addington said a few safety tips could help prevent future incidents. ‘We have signage at each of our life-guarded beaches clearly highlighting the times of high tides and it’s important for people to realise that, particularly in this area, the water comes in very fast and people can find themselves cut off sometimes hours before the water reaches its peak.’


‘Our lifeguards receive world-class training which also includes detailed knowledge of local conditions, including tides and specific dangers and we’d urge anyone thinking of taking a walk across the sands to seek advice from them before setting off,’ he added.


Katie and Taine are two of more than 1,300 RNLI lifeguards who are patrolling 240 beaches across the UK and Channel Islands this summer. Katie, 18, is on her second season with the RNLI but for Taine, 16, it was his first rescue in what is his first season with the RNLI.


Last year RNLI lifeguards attended 17,414 incidents, helped 20,538 people and saved 127 lives.


RNLI (top) - RNLI lifeguards Katie Fidock and Taine Carrick
Clive Lawford (bottom) - Ramsgate Inshore Lifeboat returning to station

20th July 2017


From lifeboats to red carpets - RNLI crew attend film premiere of 'Dunkirk'


RNLI volunteers are used to dealing with unusual situations – but Ramsgate Coxswain Ian Cannon and crew-member daughter Becky didn’t expect to find themselves walking the red carpet for the world premiere of new movie 'Dunkirk'!


Ian and Becky were invited to the event in Leicester Square because of their family connection to the real events that inspired Christopher Nolan’s new film about one of World War Two’s greatest rescues.


They have also featured in a short film made by popular social media brand LadBible to celebrate the RNLI’s links to Dunkirk ahead of the film’s release on Friday July 21.


Coxswain Ian’s great-great-uncle Alf Moody was a lifeboatman at Ramsgate. He was one of the crew that went over to France to help take stranded British troops off the beaches at Dunkirk as part of Operation Dynamo in 1940.


Seventeen RNLI vessels were taken over to Dunkirk by the Navy, but the boats from Ramsgate and Margate went over with their own crews on board – ordinary lifeboatmen prepared to head into war.


Howard Knight, then the coxswain of the Ramsgate lifeboat Prudential, later recalled the moment he informed his crew of their mission: “‘We are going over the other side to fetch our boys off,’ I told them. Not one of them hesitated.”


Margate lifeboat The Lord Southborough went over with Coxswain Edward Parker and ten crew. They were given steel helmets, food and cigarettes.


The commander of the HMS Icarus saw the lifeboatmen at work in France and later said: “The magnificent behaviour of the crew of the Margate lifeboat who, with no thought of rest, brought off load after load of soldiers from Dunkirk, under continuous shelling, bombing and aerial machine-gun fire, will be an inspiration to us as long as we live.”


The Margate crew took around 600 men off the beaches, while the Ramsgate crew, who worked continuously for 30 hours, took around 2800 men off the beaches.


In total, over 338,000 men were rescued between 26 May and 4 June, of which over one third (98,000) were evacuated by Dunkirk's 'little ships'. The original target for Operation Dynamo had been to evacuate 45,000.


Coxswains Howard Knight and Edward Parker were awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for their gallantry and determination, and all crew members received the RNLI's Thanks on Vellum.


More about the Ramsgate and Margate crews involvement in the evacuation can be found on this web site at this link.


Jack Lowe (top) - Ramsgate Coxswain Ian Cannon and daughter Becky at Dunkirk premiere
RNLI (middle) - Ramsgate's wartime lifeboat crew. Alf Moody front right with moustache
RNLI (bottom) - Wartime crew of the Margate lifeboat

Ramsgate Lifeboat Calendar 2018


The Ramsgate Lifeboat Calendar for 2018 is now available at £5.00 each. They are available from the RNLI Ramsgate Shop, Broadstairs Kiosk, Mariners Bar, Royal Temple Yacht Club, Coco Latino & Your Bar & Grill. They will also be available on eBay, delcampe & eBid.

Many thanks to all the locations who have kindly agreed to sell them for us & to all the contributes who have kindly agreed for us to feature their photographs in the calendar.

11th July 2017


Ramsgate locate yacht heading for Goodwin Sands


Ramsgate RNLI's all weather lifeboat launched yesterday at 3.49pm following a request from the UK Coastguard to a yacht with engine and electrical failure 2.8 miles NE of Ramsgate.


At the position given there was no yacht in sight so the lifeboat crew contacted the casualty by mobile phone, the only means of communication due to the electrical failure, and got another position from them. This position would have put them ashore at nearby Pegwell Bay, south west of Ramsgate.


The lifeboat crew were then given a third position just outside the Ramsgate approach channel. Whilst heading towards this position, again with no casualty sighted, the crew spotted a yacht dangerously close to the North Sand Head on the Goodwin Sands, some 5 nautical miles east of Ramsgate.


The coxswain again contacted the casualty, which was the yacht heading towards the Sands, and instructed them to head immediately north, away from the sand bank. Given a couple more minutes on their original course, the yacht would have ended up aground.


Once clear of the Goodwin Sands, the lifeboat crew passed a line to the yacht and towed it safely to a berth within Ramsgate Harbour.


Photo Mark Stanford

10th July 2017


Ramsgate in river rescue


At 6.20pm on Saturday 8 July the UK Coastguard requested the launch of Ramsgate RNLI's inshore lifeboat (ILB) to a vessel aground up the River Stour, off Ramsgate's Pegwell Bay.


Due to tidal constraints the ILB was unable to even get into the river entrance. Consequently, the decision was made to take the all weather lifeboat's 'daughter' small inflatable boat (XP28) by road to the river bank where it could be launched to assist the casualty.


On arrival the XP boat was set up, and with two crew made it's way to the casualty vessel. Once alongside, one of the two people on board the casualty was taken ashore, the remaining person choosing to stay aboard. The XP boat crew then assisted with putting out the casualty's anchor, in order that the vessel remained safe when the tide started to rise and it was able to continue on its way. The XP boat was then made ready for returning by van to the Lifeboat Station.


Ramsgate RNLI is often called out to incidents occurring in the River Stour, along the lower reaches of which are a number of moorings and marinas. The incidents are usually dealt with by the station's Atlantic 85 ILB but at times of very low water due to Spring tides, such as Saturday, an alternative method has to be employed. As a result the Ramsgate crew members are trained in transporting the XP boat to and using it on the river.


Photos Ian Cannon

3rd July 2017


Ramsgate RNLI thank Sainsburys for their support


All connected with Ramsgate lifeboat station wish to thank the management and staff at Sainsburys, Westwood Cross, store for their considerable support during the past year.


Since being chosen as the store’s ‘Charity of the Year’ in 2016, and thanks to the combined efforts of the store’s staff, Ramsgate RNLI crew members and the station’s fundraisers, a total of £6,227 has been raised. This amount included a total of £461.25 in RNLI souvenir sales during events and £879.78 raised at a recent Mayday event.


In a recent symbolic handover of a cheque the Sainsburys store’s PR Ambassador Becky Lane is pictured (front left) along with Jan Pearce and members of the Ramsgate crew. Jan, who both works at the store and is a member of Ramsgate Lifeboat Fundraisers, worked hard organising the ‘in store’ collections during the past year.


Photo John Ray


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