News Archive Page 8

13th June 2015


Harbour siren replaces maroons to launch Ramsgate’s lifeboats


Ramsgate RNLI are now using a siren at the harbour as well as personal pagers to inform the lifeboat crew of a ‘shout’. The siren will also make the general public around the harbour aware that the lifeboat is being launched.


The electronic siren system, which is already in use by the RNLI at some other busy harbours, will be activated immediately after the crew pagers and then again after a further two minutes. As much as calling out crew within earshot the siren will inform members of the public around the harbour that the lifeboat will be launching and that arriving crew members need clear access to the lifeboat station. A decision has been taken not to activate the sirens between 10.00pm and 7.00am so as not to unduly annoy local residents.


The firing of maroons from the pier head, until stopped throughout the RNLI due to health and safety concerns, was the traditional method of calling out lifeboat crew. This continued in Ramsgate until some eight years ago, long after the introduction of crew pagers and its cessation is something often mentioned with regret by members of the public. It is hoped that the introduction of the sirens will go some way to replace this.

8th June 2015


Ramsgate’s crew experience ‘Groundhog Day’


When Ramsgate RNLI’s inshore lifeboat (ILB) was launched at 5.22pm on Sunday 7 June the volunteer crew began to think that they were experiencing their own ‘Groundhog Day’.


As in the classic film the reason for the call out replicated that at much the same time the previous day. A 13m motor yacht had run aground in the mouth of the River Stour off Ramsgate’s Pegwell Bay. The yacht, with six people aboard, was hard aground, and there was no chance of getting it free on the falling tide.


The ILB crew took a woman, her four children and a greyhound dog off the yacht and brought them onboard the ILB to the lifeboat station where they were cared for whilst they awaited collection to be taken home. The skipper/owner of the yacht stayed aboard to await the rising tide and the return of the lifeboat in the early hours of the following morning.


The ILB duly launched again in the early hours of Monday and managed to tow the yacht off the sandbank on the rising tide and started to escort it to Ramsgate Harbour. With the yacht’s engine starting to overheat the ILB crew again took it under tow and brought it and its skipper safely on to a mooring in Ramsgate Harbour. The ILB then returned to the boathouse having completed the RNLI station’s sixth launch in less than 48 hours.

7th June 2015


Busy 24 hours for Ramsgate’s lifeboats


Ramsgate RNLI’s lifeboat crew were called out four times to three separate incidents between 9.00am on Saturday 6 June and 3.00am on Sunday 7 June.


The first the call outs on Saturday was for the all-weather (AWB) lifeboat and followed a report of an unmanned dinghy adrift near the Thanet Offshore Windfarm. The RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew located the dinghy and, liaising with Dover Coastguard, carried out an unsuccessful search of the area for any persons from it. After the Coastguard had called off the search and the lifeboat was heading back to Ramsgate with the dinghy aboard the crew were informed that the owner had reported the unmanned dinghy as missing.


Having arrived back at Ramsgate at 11.17am the AWB launched again at 13.02pm to assist Walmer RNLI’s inshore lifeboat (ILB) with the tow of a 13m yacht. Walmer had taken the yacht in tow as it was suffering from problems with its rudder and unable to steer. This, in turn, was making it difficult for the ILB to tow so Ramsgate’s more powerful AWB was asked to take over the tow and the yacht and crew were safely brought into Ramsgate Harbour.


At 5.04pm Ramsgate’s ILB was launched to assist a yacht that had run aground on a sandbank on a falling tide in the mouth of the River Stour off Pegwell Bay, Ramsgate. Experience told the RNLI crew that there was no way that the yacht could be got off the sandbank in the tidal conditions and as there was no immediate danger to either yacht or its two man crew it was agreed that the lifeboat would return to station and launch later on the rising tide.


The volunteer ILB crew launched again at 1.55am to assist the yacht and on arrival at the scene transferred a lifeboat crew member to assist on board. With the yacht in tow it came off the sandbank and was safely, with its crew, towed up river to a berth on Sandwich Quay. The ILB arrived back at Ramsgate at 3.00am


Photo Sarah Hewes

25th May 2015


Dermot O’Leary joins Ramsgate Lifeboat for their ‘Open Day’


TV and radio presenter Dermot O’Leary joined members of Ramsgate’s lifeboat crew and fundraisers at the station’s ‘open day’ on Wednesday 20 May.


The ‘open day’ was held in support of the 75th. anniversary of Operation Dynamo (the Dunkirk Evacuation) commemoration event held at Ramsgate Harbour. With the assistance of Sam Fieldhouse, South East Area RNLI Education Manager and Ollie Arthur, Kent and Essex RNLI Fundraising Manager, the station also mounted a display about the RNLI’s role in the Evacuation.


Learning, through a family connection, that Dermot was keen to visit the event he accepted an invitation to base himself at the lifeboat station. Whilst there he was shown around the station’s lifeboats and joined members of RNLI team to view the many ‘Little Ships’ that had assembled in the harbour. He was also invited, by owner and restorer David Jay, on board his vessel Trimilia which in 1940 had been Ramsgate RNLI station’s lifeboat Prudential and taken part, with her RNLI crew, in the evacuation.

18th May 2015


Ramsgate RNLI presented with cheque from the Prudential in memory of the lifeboat they funded


Among the many historic ‘Little Ships’ arriving in Ramsgate Harbour to celebrate the 75th. anniversary of Operation Dynamo, the 1940 Dunkirk evacuation, was the ex. Ramsgate lifeboat Prudential, with a cheque for £1,000 on board from the Prudential Assurance Company for Ramsgate RNLI.


Prudential, funded, as the name suggests, by the Prudential Assurance Company, was the station boat between 1926 and 1953. One of only two lifeboats, the other being the then Margate lifeboat Lord Southborough – Civil Service No1, to take part in the Dunkirk evacuation with their own RNLI crews. The Ramsgate crew alone are credited with rescuing 2,800 troops from the beaches and subsequently both the Ramsgate coxswain, Howard Knight, and Margate coxswain, Edward Parker, were each awarded the DSM at Buckingham Palace.


Members of the present Ramsgate RNLI crew were invited aboard the vessel, now renamed Trimilia, and received the cheque from the present owner and restorer David Jay. He had earlier kindly approached the Prudential Assurance Company on the lifeboat station’s behalf.


Trimilia will be joining the fleet of ‘Little Ships’ going to Dunkirk on Thursday 21 May when it will be accompanied by the Ramsgate Trent class lifeboat Esme Anderson crewed by members of both Ramsgate and Margate RNLI crews.

14th May 2015


Local Mayor presents cheque to Ramsgate RNLI


At an event at Broadstairs Council Chamber on 13 May Mayor of Broadstairs and St. Peters, Rosalind Binks, presented representatives of local charities, including the RNLI, with cheques from funds raised during her period in office.


In making the presentation of a cheque for £400 to Ramsgate RNLI the mayor remarked that she had always been a great supporter of the lifeboats and their crews and their coverage of the sea off our coast was now enhanced during the summer months by the RNLI lifeguards.


She added that Ramsgate RNLI support Broadstairs’ annual Water Gala with the lifeboats proving to be a great attraction when tides permitted attendance. The Broadstairs and Ramsgate Lifeboat Fundraisers group regularly attend events in the town and were instrumental in ensuring the continuance of the Harbour Street RNLI shop when it was threatened with closure.

5th May 2015


New Ramsgate Lifeboat Book


A new Ramsgate Lifeboat Station history book is now on sale at the Ramsgate RNLI shop and will soon be available at other local RNLI outlets and on line at The book, which costs £8.95, has been written by the station's archivists, John and Vanessa Ray, and is the third in a series of books written by lifeboat station volunteers around the country and edited, printed and produced by the RNLI with 100% of profit going to them.


The book, which is some 25,000 words in length with numerous photographs and illustrations, focuses on RNLI lifesaving at Ramsgate from the early 1800s to the present day with information gathered from personal accounts and not only covers the station history but also many aspects of life at the lifeboat station.

9th April 2015


Ramsgate RNLI’s lifeboats launch to assist grounded barge


Ramsgate RNLI’s all-weather all weather (AWB) and inshore (ILB) lifeboats launched at 1.13pm on Wednesday 8 April to assist a sixteen metre barge aground in the River Stour entrance with two people on board.


Both boats approached the casualty with care as there was less than one metre of water below the AWB. On scene two members of the ILB crew took the AWB's tow rope to the casualty by wading in the water and climbed aboard to assist with attaching the tow rope. Once the tow was attached the AWB then proceeded to tow the casualty into deeper water and then on into Ramsgate Harbour as it had steering trouble.

7th March 2015


Ramsgate RNLI's inshore lifeboat launch to harbour jumper Ramsgate


RNLI' s inshore lifeboat (ILB) launched at 9.19pm on Friday 6 March to a person threatening to jump into Ramsgate harbour. The crew aboard the lifeboat station's Atlantic 85 class ILB The Claire and David Delves found that the person had been stopped from jumping by the police who took them into custody for their own safety. The lifeboat returned to station.


Photo Steve Burton

13th February 2015


Reserve RNLI Lifeboat at Ramsgate replaced


Friday 13th. February was changeover day at Ramsgate lifeboat station when the reserve lifeboat based there for the last 18 months was exchanged for a later model.


The replacement Mersey class lifeboat 12-005 ‘Lady of Hilbre’ arrived on the back of a low loader and was exchanged, with the aid of the harbour’s boat hoist, for 12-001 ‘Peggy and Alex Caird’ which, after 28 years of service, was to be taken to the RNLI’s HQ at Poole in Dorset to be sold. The Mersey class of lifeboat, similar to that at Margate, is usually launched off a trailer or down a slipway and not kept afloat like Ramsgate’s larger lifeboat. Although at Ramsgate for only a short time ‘Peggy and Alex Caird’ will be long remembered at the station as it formed a backdrop to and appeared in many pictures taken of last year’s inshore lifeboat naming ceremony.


As well as maintaining a fleet of boats allocated to lifeboat stations the RNLI also has a reserve fleet to cover for station boats of each type should they suffer damage, equipment failure or need to go away for more major maintenance. These boats, when not in use, are kept at locations around the coast where they are maintained for service by the local coxswain and mechanic.

Ramsgate Lifeboat

 In an emergency, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard

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