News Archive Page 13


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

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

1st July 2017


Dover and Ramsgate lifeboats launched after a major collision in the English Channel.


The UK Coastguard called for the immediate launch of the Dover and Ramsgate RNLI all-weather lifeboats just after 2.15am on Saturday 1 July following reports that a container ship and crude oil tanker, with a total of 49 people on board the two vessels, had collided and were at a complete stop.


With initial reports of damage to at least one of the ships and the location of the incident in the south west channel of the busy main shipping lane, both RNLI vessels raced to the scene, approximately 15 miles north east of Dover, crewed by a total of 15 RNLI volunteers. Nine crew were on board the Dover Severn class lifeboat City of London 2 and six on board the Ramsgate Trent class lifeboat, Esme Anderson.


Meanwhile the UK Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 163 was on the scene to assess the damage to the vessels, a  48,580 ton,  183m long crude oil tanker, the Seafrontier, registered in Hong Kong and the Huayang Endeavour, a 75,000 ton bulk carrier measuring 225m long and also registered in Hong Kong. It is understood both vessels suffered damage in the collision with the Seafrontier having a hole above the water line and damage to the superstructure.


On reaching the ships, the Ramsgate lifeboat was tasked with standing alongside the Seafrontier while the Dover lifeboat stood ready to assist the Huayang Endeavour while a tug was called to the scene from Boulogne, France.


Both lifeboats were stood down at 05.44am by which time the tug was in assistance and the Seafrontier taken under tow.


The Ramsgate lifeboat was launched at 02.37am and on scene at 03.15am.  The Dover lifeboat was launched at 02.42am and was on the scene at 03.59am. Weather conditions at the time of the call-out showed a moderate wind and the state of the sea was calm.


Although it was fortunate there were no casualties, the incident demonstrated how quickly the RNLI is  able to respond to an incident in the world’s busiest shipping lane with the Ramsgate all weather lifeboat on the scene within 38 minutes of launching and the Dover all-weather lifeboat on location  just over an hour after launching.


Photos Paul Cannon

26th June 2017


SGN Community Action supports Ramsgate RNLI


Ramsgate RNLI’s thanks go to the six members of staff from SGN who spent Friday 23 June at the lifeboat station completing voluntary work for the charity.


The work, under the direction of Ramsgate lifeboat coxswain Ian Cannon, took place as part of the company’s Community Action Programme which encourages all employees to spend one working day each year carrying out voluntary work for a chosen charity. The volunteers (Stef Dalton, Jeff Birchall, Dave Lewis, Karen Goldsmith, Paul Hewitt), pictured aboard Ramsgate RNLI’s all weather Trent class lifeboat Esme Anderson, included Mark Bray (3rd. left) who is a Ramsgate lifeboat crew member.


In addition to this activity day SGN also presented Ramsgate RNLI with a cheque for £500 from its charitable Into Action fund to match fund the hours put in by Mark whilst carrying out his regular duties as a volunteer lifeboat crew member.


All at Ramsgate lifeboat station are very grateful for the support given by SGN.


Photo John Ray

17th June 2017

Retired Ramsgate coxswain Ron Cannon awarded MBE in Queen's Birthday Honours


Ron, an active RNLI volunteer for 53 years and former coxswain of Ramsgate lifeboat, has been awarded an MBE for his services to the charity that saves lives at sea.


He was a crewmember of Ramsgate RNLI (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 (DLA) and subsequently as Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) 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.


Paul Boissier, Chief Executive of the RNLI, said ‘Ron is an exceptional lifeboatman who has tirelessly served the RNLI and the local community of Ramsgate for over half a century. He is a courageous, dedicated and immensely generous volunteer who has always been willing to go above and beyond the call of duty. As such, he greatly deserves this prestigious honour.’


Photo John Ray

14th June 2017


Ramsgate give late night assistance to trawler


At 11.37pm yesterday Ramsgate RNLI’s all weather lifeboat (AWB) launched to assist a trawler stuck fast to a submerged object some 4 miles off Ramsgate.


Once on the scene it became obvious that the trawler had picked up a very large rope around its propeller and rudder. One of the lifeboat crew was put aboard the trawler to give assistance and after some time was able to retrieve one end of the rope. The trawler skipper then put his engine astern and after a short time the rope came free from the propeller.


The rope was still attached to the trawler’s rudder so the end was transferred to the AWB, where the RNLI crew were able to pull it free using the lifeboat’s capstan. The skipper of the trawler then checked that all was well with his vessel and was able to carry on without further assistance. The AWB then returned to station.

14th June 2017

Ramsgate Lifeboat Operations Manager retires


Serving a company or organisation for 35 years is a significant achievement in anyone's books, but when it involves voluntary work for the RNLI it becomes altogether more noteworthy.


Ray Noble has been associated with the sea his entire life and during his time with Ramsgate RNLI served as crew, Deputy Launching Authority and Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM). Despite recently retiring from the lifeboat service as LOM, at age 70, he is certainly not giving up now. Lifelong friend, Bill Moses says 'Ray's dedication to the lifeboat and safety at sea are what legends are made of and the RNLI should be exceptionally proud of his commitment and devotion.'


In order to mark his retirement Bill Moses presented Ray with a cheque for £200 and a limited edition print depicting the Ramsgate lifeboat, Esme Anderson. The original print was the brainchild of celebrated local artist Robert Onion who created 10 limited edition prints, nine of which are to be sold for the benefit of Ramsgate lifeboat.


Anyone interested in purchasing one of the 9 prints should phone Ray on 01843 613764


Photo Steve Burton

7th June 2017


Ramsgate tow in yacht - with initial assistance from Humber


Ramsgate RNLI's all weather lifeboat was launched at 4.00pm on Monday last at the request of the UK Coastguard to assist a yacht which had lost engine power and was drifting towards the Thanet Offshore Windfarm.


First on the scene, however, was Humber RNLI's Severn class lifeboat 17-05 Pride of the Humber which was on passage from Grimsby to Dover and took the 17m. yacht, with four people on board, in tow.


Ramsgate RNLI's Trent class lifeboat 14-02 Esme Anderson arrived on scene at 4.40pm and the tow was transferred enabling the Humber boat to continue its passage. Ramsgate lifeboat towed the yacht safely onto a berth in Ramsgate Harbour.


Photo Steve Burton

Ramsgate Lifeboat

 In an emergency, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard

News Archive


Copyright 1999-2018 by Clive Lawford (e-mail). All Rights Reserved.

 You are very welcome to link to this site, though any form of duplication requires written consent from me unless otherwise stated.

A charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736).
Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland.