Ramsgate Lifeboat
16th February 2020
Cheque presentation to the RNLI
RNLI Community Presenter and Ramsgate lifeboat archivist John Ray visited King Edward Court, Herne Bay on 14th. February where he was presented with a cheque for £1,200. The money had been raised during the past year by the King Edward Court Residents Association.

The residents had chosen the RNLI as ‘their’ 2019 charity and John had visited them at the request of Residents Association Chair Ian Devereux to talk about the charity’s work. Throughout the ensuing months the King Edward Court’s residents and staff had worked hard organising a number of fundraising events. This culminated in John being presented with a very generous cheque by King Edward Court supporter Thanet North MP Sir Roger Gale. John, on behalf of the RNLI, expressed his gratitude to all concerned.
Left to right Sir Roger Gale, Ian Devereux, John Ray
Photo by John Ray
15th February 2020
Multi-agency search for man overboard off Margate
Margate and Ramsgate RNLI lifeboats, a coastguard rescue helicopter and shore-based coastguards have carried out a search after reports of a man missing from a ship in the Margate Roads anchorage, around 2km north of Margate.

The Maltese-flagged LPG tanker contacted UK Coastguard around 6am this morning (Saturday 15 February) reporting one of its crew as being unaccounted for. He was last seen several hours previously and following a search of the ship it was assumed he was missing overboard.

A Mayday Relay message was broadcast, and a search initiated involving Margate and Ramsgate RNLI all-weather lifeboats, a coastguard rescue helicopter from Lydd Airport, a Royal Navy warship and Margate Coastguard Rescue Team.

A large area up to around eight miles offshore was searched by the sea and air units and around seven hours after the initial call a body was recovered from the sea by the Margate all-weather lifeboat. The lifeboat returned to station and the body handed into the care of local police officers.
Margate RNLI searching by Mark Stamford.
5th January 2020

RNLI Ramsgate Lifeboat is currently a Co-op Local Cause attached to the Co-op Grange Road, Co-op Funeral Care & Co-op Petrol Minster. As part of this partnership visits to the Lifeboat Station are being arranged so the Co-op staff can have a good understanding as to how the funds being raised are being used. The focus for this round are training for the new members of the crew and resources for the extensive Education programme run by our Education Team. Today it was a great pleasure for us all to welcome Jo from Co-op Grange Road to be shown around by our Visits team and meet our Mechanic Phill and Coxswain Ian.
Photos by Sarah Hewes
13th December 2019

The Betty's 5p Pots for the year were collected from the Northwood Women’s Institute on Tuesday evening. The total raised was £100.85 which is a fantastic total and very much appreciated.

Photo by Maxine Morgan
13th December 2019

Sincere thanks to Jason and the team at the Mariners Bar.

Following on from raising £131.45 at their recent Carols by Candlelight, they are now running a Raffle for a superb Hamper to raise further funds for RNLI Ramsgate, which is £3 a strip. The draw for the Raffle is on Christmas Eve.

Photo by Sarah Hewes
13th December 2019

RAMSGATE RNLI station were presented today (13th December) with a cheque for £2000 from the Atlantic Avengers Rowing Duo John Wilson and Ricky Reina, both from Folkestone.

Back in February 2016 when Ricky was recovering from a knee operation, he could never have dreamed that he would one day row across the Atlantic. As part of his recuperation he was training on an indoor rowing machine at the gym, where he met John Wilson. John was a specialist in indoor rowing, and the pair hit it off. Between them they set a record for indoor rowing, four days non stop, then they decided to try rowing on water.

They bought themselves a 9 metre long, three quarter ton,two man canoe, a Rossiter Ocean II, called Sic Parvis Magna - Small but Mighty. This three year old canoe already had a pedigree as had been used to row the Atlantic and also around Britain.

The duo decided to take a year out of work to train for the crossing, moving from indoors to the Lakes at Lydd and then to Ramsgate Harbour where they would row for 5-6 hours at a  time out at sea. The reason for Ramsgate in particular, not their home port of Folkestone, was that the strong tides across the entrance to the harbour meant that they were able to train in challenging conditions.

One day when they were out practising a member of the public raised the alarm, believing that kayakers were in difficulty. Ramsgate RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was launched to assist them but the volunteer crew realised as they approached who the rowers were and after a quick check and a wave returned back to base.

With little support, other than their families, the rowers approached Leven Brown, who is a British Ocean Racer holding five Guinness World Records. He was able to advise them how to prepare for the mammoth task ahead.

So on November 27 2018 they set off from Cadiz in Spain in fairly miserable conditions, and their journey down to the Canaries was wet and damp. Also the lack of sun meant that their solar panels for running their equipment didn’t work so for the first month it was back to basics using a compass and chart. They had 2 hour shifts at rowing, and their two hours off were spent trying to sleep, doing squats to keep their leg muscles working, and most importantly keeping clean, as sweat and salt can cause nasty sores. It took them two months to reach the halfway point! Luckily for the first part of the trip they were very civilised with a glass of wine every evening with their rehydrated meal. However after that their store of 25 litres of red wine, 3 litres of rum and a few beers ran out. They did manage to catch and cook two fish whilst they were crossing which made a welcome change to their diet.

Christmas Day was celebrated by opening little parcels from their families and eating a few treats, and then they stopped rowing at 3pm to enjoy a few beers and watch the dolphins play in the water.

Not every day was so relaxing however, some days in bad weather they were unable to row, and at one point they spent four days locked in the very small cabin just off Tenerife riding out a storm. At this point they were “moonwalking” as they called it, which meant going Backwards! And once they were mid Atlantic they encountered nightly squalls, using when John was rowing! However they didn’t last very long.

The last half of the journey was much smoother and completed in one month and they arrived in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua on 23 February 2019. Their families were there to meet them and this happened to be Ricky’s son Barney’s 8th birthday. Apparently he was not happy at all being woken up at 5am to meet his dad and said it was the worst day ever, however his tears of frustration soon changed to tears of joy when he saw his dad. The two men were exhausted, and hungry for some proper food. Ricky managed to eat four cheeseburgers and chips for his first meal, but he deserved it as he had dropped from 109kg to 79kg during the journey. John, in a leaner position to start with still lost 5kg.

John now holds the Guinness World Record for the oldest man to row from Continental Europe to Antigua at the grand old age of 58. The pair hold the record for the first male pair to row from Continental Europe to Antigua a distance of approximately 4500 miles and the title they are most proud of is, despite all their hardships, they are the fastest out of any category of rowers to row across.

They raised over £40,000 sponsorship during their event and wanted to present RAMSGATE RNLI with a portion of it for all their support whilst they trained in Ramsgate. As Ricky said ‘ it was just great knowing that the RNLI were there in case things did go wrong’

They have now set up a trust where local sportsman can apply for grants, look them up under Atlantic Avengers on YouTube, Facebook and on AtlanticAvengers.com.
The pair in Ramsgate Harbour
Arrival into Antigua
Cheque presentation
Photo by Sarah Hewes
13th December 2019
Ramsgate RNLI receive an Historic England award
Members of Ramsgate’s Christ Church Junior School’s History Detective Club chose four past Ramsgate RNLI coxswains to research for a project supported by the local ‘Discovery Planet’ team and Historic England entitled ‘Ramsgate’s Remarkable Residents’.

Having been visited earlier in 2019 by a RNLI Education Presenter and in turn having raised money for and visited Ramsgate RNLI lifeboat station the History Detective Club members thought they would like to find out more about some of the people involved in the station’s 200+ year history.

The four people they decided to research were Isaac Jarman (Coxswain 1861-1870 and awarded 2 Silver Medals), Charles Fish (Coxswain 1870-1891 and awarded 2 Gold and 1 Silver Medal), Howard Knight (Coxswain 1936-1946 and awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his service with the RNLI at Dunkirk in 1940) and Ron Cannon MBE (Coxswain 1976-2001 and awarded 2 Silver Medals).

With the support of Ramsgate Lifeboat Archivists John and Vanessa Ray they researched the relevant RNLI rescues and filmed interviews with some of the present and recent crew members. They also researched the coxswains using computer records, census returns and old newspaper records held in the local library.

Their research culminated in a recent presentation at a whole school assembly at which representatives of Ramsgate RNLI, Historic England and Discovery Planet were in attendance. As well as receiving copies of the coxswains ‘plaques’ Ramsgate RNLI were also presented with an Historic England ‘Heritage Schools Heritage Partner Award’ certificate.
Photo by NIkki Hildesley 
27th November 2019
Halloween total
The final total for the Halloween at the Arches is now in, they raised a fantastic £750 for RNLI Ramsgate Lifeboat. Sincere thanks go to everyone who attended the event and of course Something Fishy, Ship Shape, Level Eleven, The Arch Bar, The Greek Arch, Antique & Retro, Archive, Coco Latino, Harbour Bikes, York Street Gallery and the Mariners Bar for all their kindness & hard work in making the event such a success.

Photo by Sarah Hewes
27th November 2019
On this day 27th November 1954
On this day 65 years ago the South Goodwins Lightvessel capsized with the loss of all crew, and just one survivor who was a Birdwatcher from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and happened to be on deck at the time.

Our current Coxswain’s grandfather Robert (Bob) Cannon was mechanic at the time, and the memory of that night stayed with him for the rest of his life.

During one of the worst channel storms in two centuries, No. 90 Lightvessel founders upon the Goodwin Sands during the night, losing all seven crewmen as storm waves parted the vessel’s mooring cable, dragging it from its position at the north end of the narrowest point of the Dover Straits.

The alarm was raised by Deal Coastguard who reported the South Goodwin light extinguished, the visibility being good, despite the wind. At 01.15 the Coastguard reported the lightvessel was suspected of being off-station; at 02.30 the Ramsgate lifeboat was launched, followed at 02.50 by the Dover boat. At Harwich the Trinity House Chief Superintendent ordered Captain R N Thompson to sail and THV Vestal left her berth at 05.30, steaming south at her best speed. In daylight, the lifeboats found the lightvessel 6.5 miles to the northward of her Assigned Position, driven on to the sands, close to the Kellett Gut where she had rolled on her side.

At 07.00 an American helicopter from RAF Manston flew over the wreck and at 08.00 the BBC Home Service reported the disaster. The wind remained strong, heavy seas were breaking over the wreck and none of the lifeboats were able to get near the stricken lightvessel lying on her side in the shallows. Several passes were made by the helicopter before a single figure, dressed in pyjamas, was seen clinging to the rails. Only Ronald Murton, a visitor from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, would survive the night. Lifeboats and a helicopter managed to secure the visitor, found clinging to the side of the vessel, but no other men would be found. After 27 November, the international maritime community was quick to rally around with commiserations.

Trinity House was fortunate enough to meet recently with Mr. and Mrs. J Park; Mr. Park is the son of the late Major Paul Park, the commanding officer of the American helicopter that led the rescue efforts. The Parks very kindly presented to Trinity House a number of archival mementos from the outpouring of gratitude that was due the brave rescue team after their efforts.

The men that crewed the South Goodwin lightvessel were Thomas Skipp from Coggeshall, Essex; Kenneth Lanham from Bow, East London; Sidney Philpott from Ramsgate, Kent; Walter Viney from Plaistow, East London; George Cox from Gorlestone, Norfolk; Thomas Porter from Holbrook, Suffolk; and Henry Lynn from Dovercourt, Essex.

Credit to Askett for the information.
Photo taken by Ian Cannon a few months ago whilst out on exercise mapping the sands
For his part in this rescue, the pilot of the helicopter Captain Curtis E. Parkins was awarded the RNLI Silver Medal. This was the first time a RNLI medal was awarded to a pilot of an aircraft.
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