28th October 2019
Three launches in 24 hours for RAMSGATE RNLI
The morning of 24 October saw the start of a busy twenty four hour period when Ramsgate RNLI volunteer crew launched to three separate incidents.
The first launch was just after 4 am when the lifeboat was launched at the request of HM Coastguard to a fourteen meter yacht with engine failure, three miles East of North Foreland. Once on scene the all-weather boat Esme Anderson passed a line to the two sailors onboard and once secure they towed the casualty into Ramsgate.
At 3.48 pm on the same day the inshore lifeboat Clare and David Delves was launched at the request of the Coastguard after a report of a windsurfer in difficulty off the Ramsgate main beach had been made by a member of the public. The experienced windsurfer had been enjoying the waves when the wind direction suddenly changed sweeping him out to sea. He was struggling to get back to shore. Once on scene the Volunteer crew found the windsurfer had managed to reach shallow water and made his own way ashore. After he was checked out by the Coastguard mobile unit, the Inshore lifeboat returned to Ramsgate RNLI station.
The third launch was in the early hours of 25 October after Walmer Lifeboat Donald McLauchlan, an Atlantic 85, was launched at the request of HM Coastguard to a yacht aground on the South Goodwin Sands, and Ramsgate’s all-weather boat was later asked to give assistance.
The initial launch was at 3.10 am when a twenty five meter yacht with one person onboard had run aground on the treacherous sands. Stuck on a falling tide the yacht was laid over on its side with the owner trapped onboard and the yacht was filling with water. With no way of reaching the yacht the decision was taken by HM Coastguard to launch a helicopter to rescue him and he was flown to shore.
Walmer RNLI returned to base to change crew and then went back out to recover the yacht and assistance was requested from Ramsgate’s all-weather boat. The weather conditions were calm at Force 2 but breaking waves on the sands had pushed the yacht over a sand bar and into deeper water and with the tide now rising the yacht was afloat.
The Walmer Lifeboat transferred two of their crew aboard the yacht to assist with attaching a tow line and to assess for any damage, and then passed a line to the Esme Anderson so that they could tow the yacht back to the safety of Ramsgate Harbour with the Walmer Lifeboat escorting. Once inside Ramsgate Harbour the tow was transferred to Walmer Lifeboat who berthed the yacht onto a pontoon, allowing the Ramsgate Boat to return to station.
Coxswain of RAMSGATE Ian Cannon said ‘A busy day for our volunteer crew working alongside other teams to bring about a good outcome. In 2018 there were 8964 launches in the UK and Ireland, with 26 people on average per day aided. This service is entirely funded by donations from the public, without which we could not continue our role to save lives at sea. If you see someone in trouble, stay safe and call the Coastguard on 999.’