Ramsgate Lifeboat
8th June 2021
No Sunday lie in for Ramsgate RNLI
The volunteer crew of Ramsgate RNLI were kept busy on Sunday 6 June when they launched twice to yachts with engine failure.

The first launch was at 08:28 when the Inshore Lifeboat Claire and David Delves was launched to reports of a seven metre yacht  aground in Joss Bay, Broadstairs with no one onboard.

Once on scene the crew noticed a paddle boarder in the Bay,  who once approached was more than happy to assist by taking one crew member to the yacht, along with the tow rope.

When the tow rope had been attached to the yacht the crew waited for the tide to rise until the yacht began to re-float and they were able at that point to tow it out into deeper water. The Inshore crewman aboard carried out an inspection to check for any water ingress and once he was satisfied that the yacht was sound they proceeded to tow the yacht into Ramsgate harbour with a crew member still aboard.

It was later found that the yacht had ran aground due to engine failure and the lone sailer had made his way safely ashore. Margate mobile Coastguard were also on scene.

Shortly after that at 12:22 the Inshore was once again launched, this time to a nine meter cruiser with eight people and  a dog aboard, once again with engine failure in Sandwich Bay. 

The inshore transferred a crewmember to the casualty to assist with retrieving the anchor and to attach the tow rope and then towed the yacht into Ramsgate Harbour where they assisted in mooring it up.

Sunday was a glorious day with a calm sea enticing lots of people out onto their boats to enjoy the sun and sea, after such a cold wet start to the year.

Ramsgate Mechanic Phil Mace said, “ Boats, just like cars, need regular maintenance, and engines in particular need a thorough overhaul when they have been standing idle for long periods of time. Always check that lifejackets are in a good state of repair and make sure to always carry a means of communication. No one expects to have a problem, but in the event of an emergency a radio or phone are essential”
The first yacht being towed into the harbour, photo by Steve Burton.
3rd June 2021
Half term proves to be a busy week for Ramsgate RNLI
With the current Covid restrictions forcing most people to curtail their foreign holiday plans this year, our coastlines have seen an increase of people having a Staycation.

Here in the South East we are lucky to have many beautiful beaches but this comes with added pressure during the holiday season especially when we are enjoying warm weather for the first time in ages. Since Sunday 30 May we have been called out to four incidents, and the week has not yet finished.

Sunday at 15:25 the Inshore Lifeboat ‘Claire and David Delves’ was launched at the request of the HM Coastguard to a man cut off by the tide at Dumpton Gap in Broadstairs. This area is notorious for people mistiming the tides and getting cut off, which is why our volunteer RNLI Thanet Community team often patrol that area giving safety advise. Walking alone around the coastline is not ideal, but he was able to call for help as he had a mobile phone with him. The Inshore Lifeboat went in close under the cliffs to reach him and assisted the person onboard and then took him to Broadstairs Harbour before returning to Ramsgate RNLI station.

Monday 31 May at 16:06 the Inshore was once again launched to the assistance of a yacht with engine failure off North Foreland with two people onboard. A local Windfarm vessel ‘Tow Tornado’ had also heard the Pan-Pan call for assistance over the radio and was shadowing the yacht in case it had serious problems.
Once on scene the volunteer crew passed a line to the yacht and, once safely secured, towed them into Ramsgate Harbour and assisted them to moor up. After repairs the yacht was able to continue on with its journey around the coast.

On Wednesday 2 June the Inshore was launched twice, the first at 13:45 to reports of an inflatable with one woman and four children onboard which had drifted from Ramsgate Main Sands to the back of the East Pier below Port Control. The tide was strong at 2-3 knots making it impossible to paddle against it. As the Inshore arrived on the scene, two other women, who had spotted that they were in trouble, had managed to swim round to assist them. Although a courageous act, this again could have put the rescuers in trouble. Their plan was to climb back up the break wall to safety but the RNLI crew advised against this and ferried the two helpers back to the main beach and then the family were taken to the RNLI station where safety advise was given. The inflatable remained at the station for our disposal.

Shortly afterward at 14:48 the Inshore launched once again after a member of the public reported a kayaker in difficulty off the Main Sands. The crew located the kayak moored up and then followed the shoreline searching for the owner, they later found that the kayaker had tied his inflatable kayak to Winderstoke Outfall sewage pipe marker post and then gone snorkelling. The strong tide had swept him along towards the harbour where he managed to make his way safely ashore. After collecting the kayak it was returned to its owner, along with appropriate safety information.

Our volunteer crew are on call all the time, a service funded solely by public donations. As more people head to our coasts at this time we need your support more than ever.
Returning the family swept out to sea to the safety of the RNLI station.
Photo by Station Mechanic Phil Mace.
23rd May 2021

Not all of our volunteers wear yellows and go out to sea.

Working in the background are an equally dedicated committee of volunteers including Fundraisers, an Archivist, our Treasurer, a Press Officer, Webmaster, Educators, and water safety advisors all working hard to support the station.

We would like to acknowledge the Head of our team, Eric Burton, not only has he been our Chairman since 2012, he has been involved with Ramsgate RNLI for 40 years.

Who best to tell his story, than his son, Steve Burton.....

“Dad’s involvement with  the RNLI started 40 years ago this month when a friend of his from Round Table (Colin Todd) who was on the Station committee at the time asked him if he would be interested in taking over from him organising the flag week collections as he was moving away from the area due to work.
So Dad went to his first meeting in May 1981. On meeting the Chairman (Cllr Richard Talyor) prior to the meeting he was asked if he was the new chap who was going to organising Flag – Dad replied yes – Good came the reply – you are also taking the minutes of this evening’s meeting!

And so it started…… Back then flag week was a whole week event with up to 50 people around Ramsgate doing house to house collections all over Ramsgate. Dad delivered, collected, emptied and counted (with a little help from yours truly) around 100 boxes from the house to house collections.

Then there was the big collection in the town centre on the Saturday to round off the week. I’m not sure how long dad organised the collections for but it was a few years until he handed it over, due to work commitments.

Dad has always been keen on boats and sailing in particular so that was why he was asked to get involved in the first place. There were also Sundays spent manning the Maritime Museum in the early years as the RNLI had a table selling souvenirs in there.

He has sat on the Committee all that time until taking over as Chairman in October 2012 when Dr Bill Crawford stood down.“

Thank you Eric for your dedication to the RNLI, we hope you will continue in your role for many more years.
The photo is of Eric at the Naming Ceremony for our current inshore lifeboat, Claire and David Delves, in 2014.
12th May 2020
Twenty year service award to local RNLI supporter John Homer
After spending twenty years giving words of advise on sea safety, John was finally lost for words when he received his long service award from the RNLI.

Having first sailed at the age of fourteen, and owning his own yacht from the age of twenty and with sixty years experience on the water, there isn’t much that John Homer doesn’t know about boats.

About twenty five years ago he joined the Bexleyheath branch of the RNLI as part of the volunteer fundraising team. Having moved to Medway, where he berths his own yacht, a Countess 37 Ketch, he became involved with Sheerness Lifeboat Station providing Sea Checks, a free service provided by the RNLI, checking on the seaworthiness of yachts, advising on engine maintenance, sea safety and providing life jacket services.

Asked whether he ever had to call the RNLI whilst sailing he said, “I bought my yacht after having a full survey done on her, and the weekend after was heading from Medway to St Katherine’s Docks in London when my alternator seized on the boat by the Thames Barrier, leaving me with no power. As required I radioed up, explaining the situation and a nearby friend was able to provide a tow for me. Shortly after Tower RNLI station radioed up asking if I was in need of any assistance, followed shortly after by Gravesend Lifeboat station. Both offers were politely declined explaining that I was under tow and quite safe.

That night the Coxswain of Sheerness phoned me up asking what was the trouble with the alternator, word had reached my station! I was very glad that I didn’t have to get any of the crew to come out to rescue me, I would never have lived it down!”

John moved to Broadstairs seven years ago and is now part of the volunteer Thanet RNLI Community Team, spending his weekends patrolling our beaches, giving advise to residents and visitors alike. He’s always amazed how people from as close as London have no idea at all about the tides, and are completely unaware that they can be cut off by the water and place themselves in danger.

He explained what he does to me, “It’s not a hobby, it’s important!”

Well done John, thank you for everything you do, and hope you have many more years ahead of you.
John proudly displaying his medal.

Without people like John and the generosity of the general public the RNLI would no longer be able to continue its work of Saving Lives at Sea as we are solely funded by public donations.
6th May 2021
Mayday walk
Every May the RNLI launches its Mayday campaign to raise money to support our volunteer crew. This has been a difficult year for the Fundraising teams when the impact of Covid has seen most events having to be cancelled.

The Mayday Mile appeal asks people to walk a mile to raise money and runs from 1st to 31st May. Anyone can join in and it means that you can enjoy a walk, socially distanced whilst supporting the RNLI.

A mayday call is the most urgent plea RNLI lifesavers receive, and is used when life is in immediate danger. Usually our lifesavers answer calls for help. But today, with summer on the way, it's they who need YOUR help.

We’re expecting more families than ever to book holidays in the UK and Ireland this year. People are excited to get away – and that’s how it should be. But it’s so easy to get into trouble by the water. For walkers to get cut off by the tide, a common occurrence around the Joss Bay to Stone Bay coastline. Or for a paddling child to be swept out to sea.

Two people who have answered the Mayday call are Sarah Hewes, Thanet RNLI Fundraising Chairman and Karen Cox Ramsgate Lifeboat Press Officer.

They walked from Margate RNLI station on Wednesday 5th May to Ramsgate RNLI station.

On route they passed the site of Kingsgate Lifeboat station which was built in 1883 and was in service from 1862-1897 and then onto Broadstairs Lifeboat station on the harbour, which was in service from 1851-1912 with the RNLI taking over in 1868.

Members of the team met them along the way to cheer them on and even provide a lovely lunch and also bought them an ice cream!
On arrival at Ramsgate RNLI they were greeted by the crew.

If you would like to support Sarah and Karen then please use this link to donate, or call into Ramsgate RNLI shop to donate. https://themaydaymile.rnli.org/fundraising/mayday-4-station-walk and every penny helps.

So far they have raised £675 with more donations pledged.

§ £25 could provide a pair of sea-going gloves to protect the RNLI’s lifesavers from wind-chill and rope burn.
§ £55 could buy a pair of sturdy, protective, non-slip boots to keep volunteers sure-footed at sea.
§ £100 could help the RNLI to bring water safety lessons to school children for the summer season ahead.
It was a lovely sunny morning and the rain clouds kept their distance. They were waved off by members of the Thanet RNLI Fundraising Team and also the Ramsgate Chairman and his team.
Karen on the left, Sarah on the right - photo by John Ray
Sarah and Karen at Ramsgate RNLI holding the Mayday banner
Kingsgate Lifeboat station
28th April 2021
Spring tides this weekend
Given the fine and sunny weather forecast for the upcoming Bank Holiday the RNLI thought it timely to offer some safety advice for those of you thinking of visiting the coast over the weekend.

Guy Addington, RNLI Water Safety lead for the South East region says:

‘RNLI lifeboats around the coast are ready to respond to emergency situations, but we are urging people to think very carefully about beach safety before setting off on a coastal walk, especially during the big spring tides. At Ramsgate, we often get call outs for people walking around our coast, in particular the Stone Bay to Joss Bay stretch..’

‘The tide comes in and out twice in each 24-hour period, and while tide times can be accurately predicted, they vary at each location and change each day. A beach or coastal area may appear a safe place for a walk, but incoming tide can quickly leave you stranded. On bigger tides like we will see in the coming days, places will be cut off by the tide quicker than normal and places usually unaffected by the tide may also be cut off. That’s why checking the weather and tides using a trusted online source, like the Ramsgate RNLI Facebook page for Ramsgate and Broadstairs, or any other tidal prediction app before setting off is advised.’

The RNLI isn’t trying to stop anyone having fun. They are just urging anyone choosing to visit the coast to make sure they keep themselves and their families safe by following beach safety advice along with the government’s advice on travel and social distancing:

• Visit a lifeguarded beach where possible and swim between the red and yellow flags - find your nearest at rnli.org.uk/lifeguarded beaches
• Wherever you are, check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage to understand local risks
• Take a means of communication with you
• If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and float
• In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

We are also advising anyone using their local coastline for exercise to keep well away from cliff edges and bases. Chalk cliffs are subject to erosion, can be unstable and can collapse without warning. These can be very dangerous for anyone standing near the edge or underneath them. Please admire the coastal views from a safe distance, and once again, if you get into difficulty or see someone else in difficulty, always dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
Photo by Ian Lockyer
27th April 2021
On a calm Saturday evening the inshore lifeboat ‘Claire and David Delves’ was launched to a 27ft motor vessel with engine failure in the entrance to the river Stour.  Onboard were two adults and two children who had been out for a cruise in the fine weather.

On arrival at the scene and after a quick assessment, one volunteer crew member was put onto the yacht to secure a line and once secured  they towed the boat back to Ramsgate Harbour.

Then Sunday afternoon the inshore was again launched to a 20ft sloop with engine problems outside the harbour. The tide was very strong across the harbour mouth making it difficult to cross into the harbour so they towed the sloop in and assisted it in mooring up.

Before they could return to station port control advised them that a second yacht had received permission to sail into the harbour as their engine had failed with the intention of then rowing to their berth. So the lifeboat went to their aid too and assisted them in mooring. 

So a busy 24 hours for the volunteer crew of Ramsgate RNLI station.

Coxswain Ian Cannon said, “With the warmer months approaching more people are taking to their boats for recreation. We would urge that they complete full safety checks on their equipment before taking to the sea, and always carry a means of communication with them.”
Photo by Mark Stanford
15th April 2021
Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team get water safety message across
Lifeboats Statement
Today, on a sunny but cold beach, Ian Lockyer a volunteer RNLI Community Safety Officer for Thanet came across a unique way of getting a safety message cross, sand art!

Every year we have people cut off by the tide around our coastline, and although we have teams out giving advise and publish the tides on our websites, still some people get caught out.

Ian came up with the idea of using the beach itself, and for his first attempt, I’m sure you’ll agree that he will do very well. His message is ‘Think time and tide’.

His message was posted in Ramsgate, just along from the Main Sands, below the Ramsgate side entrance to George V Park. Sadly, the tide has now swept it away.
Photo by Karen Cox
14th April 2021
Ramsgate RNLI launch to a disabled motorcruiser
On a calm sunny evening Tuesday 13 April at 18.30 the Inshore Lifeboat “Claire and David Delves” was launched at the request of UK Coastguard to a ten meter cabin cruiser with engine failure after a Pan-pan call was made by phone.

A Pan-pan is the international urgency call indicating that someone aboard a boat is declaring an urgent situation that is not an immediate threat to either the vessel or the people on board. Pan-pan is actually from the French word panne meaning breakdown.

The initial position was given as four and a half miles South of Ramsgate. The Inshore Lifeboat made their way to the position given by the Coastguard, but found nothing in the area. They then made their way further South, where they could see a vessel roughly one and a half miles away and found it to be the casualty with three people onboard, which they took under tow and guided them into Ramsgate Royal Harbour. The original position given by the Coastguard had been estimated by tracing the casualties mobile phone signal, as this was the means that they used to contact the Coastguard.

After securing the cabin cruiser to the pontoon the volunteer crew returned the lifeboat to the station.

With restrictions slowly being lifted and the Summer approaching we are expecting an increase in calls. The RNLI rely purely on donations from the public so after a year where we have been unable to fund raise in our normal way, we appreciate support from the public more than ever.
Photo by Phil Mace
27th January 2020

Today we celebrate a milestone for two of our crew.

Ian Cannon took over as station Coxswain from his father Ron when he retired from Coxswain in 2001, twenty years today, following a strong family tradition. During Ron’s long career he was awarded the RNLI’s Silver Medal for his ‘truly outstanding seamanship and tremendous courage’ for rescues, not once but twice and then in 2017 received an MBE.

Ian is a great role model for his crew with a firm hand on the wheel, living proof of the RNLI’s values leading his crew with great seamanship, and years of knowledge having taken part in many heroic rescues.

Phil Mace, is the station Mechanic, again celebrating 20 years in his role. His knowledge of the workings of lifeboats is second to none, which is why other stations Lifeboats have been brought into Ramsgate for maintenance work over the years.

In 2019 Phill was proud to be chosen to march past the Cenotaph in London with five fellow RNLI officers on Remembrance Day in recognition of their long service. The RNLI were invited to take part in the celebrations for the first time in 2016 so very few have been honoured by an invitation.

As you can tell we are very proud of our crew, they head a dedicated team and are always on call to Save Lives at Sea.

Well done Ian Cannon and Phil Mace  here’s to the next 20 years
6th December 2020

Ramsgate RNLI involved in multi agency rescue of a couple from the incoming tide.

A couple enjoying a beach walk on a sunny but cold day found themselves having to climb up onto a concrete apron to escape the incoming tide.

The couple were visiting the area on Saturday 5 December and had decided to walk along the coast. Not being familiar with the tides they found themselves cut off at the foot of the cliffs below North Foreland and had to climb up onto a man made ledge below the wastewater pumping station.

A passing Estuary Services Ltd Pilot boat, returning to Ramsgate from a routine trip boarding a pilot onto a cargo vessel, was in the area and heard over the radio that two people had been reported stuck on the cliffs. They guided the pilot boat closer inshore and after a brief search spotted the couple. Using the boat’s loud hailer they reassured the couple that help was on its way and the man used a piece of chalk to write OK on the wall to confirm that he had heard them.

One of the crew was also a member of HM Coastguard and so he advised the Coastguard of the situation and the crew of Ramsgate RNLI were also called to attend. The pilot boat remained off shore until the lifeboat had arrived.

The Inshore Lifeboat Claire and David Delves was launched and soon was in the vicinity. The tide had now turned and there was a heavy swell making it difficult to approach the foot of the cliffs. One of the volunteer crew members went into the water, swam ashore and climbed up onto the platform with the walkers to reassure and comfort them. They had been trapped for over an hour by now and the light was failing. They were cold and anxious, although safe at that time.

It was obvious that they would struggle to climb back down into the water to reach the Inshore Lifeboat as with the tide now dropping the water was becoming too shallow for more than one attempt at rescue that way, and with the swell it would have been dangerous.

So the decision was taken to go up the cliff, and once the Coastguard Cliff Rescue team arrived they were winched to safety, including the lifeboat man who was unable to return to the lifeboat.

Once everyone was rescued the lifeboat and the Pilot boat returned to Ramsgate Harbour.

Inshore lifeboat volunteer crew member Simon Ellis said ‘ They were lucky that they managed to climb up without getting wet as it was a cold day and the chances of them suffering from exposure would have been higher. If you are walking around the coast do your research first, check the tides as it’s easy to get cut off and always carry a means of communication with you’
The Volunteer lifeboat crew being winched up the cliff by HM Coastguard, note the OK chalked onto the wall.
Photo taken by RNLI crew member Jodie Winch from onboard the inshore lifeboat.
Photo taken from the Pilot boat by Mark Stamford.
23rd November 2020
Fund raising walk for Ramsgate RNLI
Riley Williams, aged 9 years old, loves fishing! He and his Dad, Joseph, have been regular passengers onboard the Lady Ann, a charter fishing  boat owned by Jason Parrott volunteer member of Ramsgate RNLI crew, since Riley was four years old.

Whilst out to sea, Riley would ask owner Jason questions about his role in the RNLI, absolutely fascinated with the fact that the majority of the crew were volunteers, and questioning how they raised money for all the equipment and boats. Not surprising his favourite television program is Saving Lives at Sea.

So it was natural that Riley attended the annual junior fishing competition started four years ago, and held at Ramsgate RNLI station which is organised by Jason and his wife Dawn, and  which has raised over thirteen thousand pounds for the RNLI.

Local fishing boats donate their time to take groups of children out, with every child receiving a medal, goody bag, tee shirt and fishing rod and reel which are donated by local businesses. Riley attended his first competition in 2018 and in 2019 at the grand age of 7, won the Gary Dunk and John Parrott Memorial Trophy for raising over two hundred and sixty five pounds of sponsorship on his own.

And then we come to 2020 when the majority of fundraising events had to be cancelled, including the fishing competition. Riley, who has only recently turned nine, was determined to still do his part to support his beloved RNLI.

Helped by his mum Charlotte, Riley set up a just giving page called Riley’s Rambling 10 miles, with the aim to raise two hundred pounds to be split between Ramsgate RNLI and Riley’s school St. John’s C of E Primary School in Maidstone.

So on Saturday 21 November Riley and his parents set off to walk ten miles from the Black Horse pub in Thurnham, across the very muddy North Downs to the Dirty Habit pub and back. It was a lovely sunny day for a walk and Riley succeeded in doubling his sponsorship goal, achieving so far, just under four hundred pounds.

Ian Cannon, coxswain of Ramsgate RNLI, said ‘this is a fantastic achievement, and we are so grateful to Riley and his family for their fundraising efforts in such a difficult year. We rely solely on donations and fund raising from the public, and without support like this we would struggle to continue our role of saving lives. We look forward to inviting all of our juniors back to next years fishing competition.‘
L-R Mum Charlotte, (Charley), Riley and Dad Joseph.

All photos taken by Charlotte.
11th November 2020
On Wednesday 4 November, the day before Lockdown two, the sun was shining meaning it was a perfect day to put a protective cover over the old Broadstairs lifeboat ‘Francis Forbes Barton’.

It is such a large boat that the two available members of the Restoration and Preservation Society could not manage it on their own, so an S.O.S was sent out to their very good friends at Ramsgate RNLI Lifeboat Station.

Answering the call was the Coxswain, the Station Mechanic and the Press Officer always happy to help and to do their bit for the local community, albeit on this occasion socially distanced. There is however a historical link between the Francis Forbes Barton and Ramsgate RNLI.

After the Francis Forbes Barton left Broadstairs in 1912 she went on to serve at North Deal as their number Two lifeboat. When she left North Deal in 1921 she was put into the Relief Fleet and her first spell of Relief was indeed at Ramsgate in 1921 where she took over duties from the “Charles & Susanna Stephens” a lifeboat that she had worked alongside in several rescues whilst she was at North Deal. She was then sold out of service and spent most of her time on the Thames and Grand Union Canal.

There is however another link with the town of Ramsgate, in 1946 she was seen in the Royal Harbour as a private boat called Path. We do not yet have an answer as to why she was in Ramsgate in 1946 but lines of enquiry are being actively pursued by the Society.

The Francis Forbes Barton Restoration and Preservation Society were extremely grateful for the help received from RNLI Ramsgate.

Coxswain Ian Cannon said, ‘ We were happy to help, and hopefully this will be the first step in preserving this old Lifeboat and restoring her to her past glory.’
Pulling the protective covers over the historic lifeboat.
L-R Karen Cox Volunteer Press Officer, Ian Cannon Coxswain, Phill Mace Station Mechanic and Michael Bon (Francis Forbes Barton Restoration and Preservation Society).
Photos by Sarah Hewes
2nd October 2020
Ramsgate RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager recognised for forty years service
Long service awards are no longer restricted to active crew members and recently Ramsgate Coxswain Ian Cannon chose to honour a long serving supporter Tony Wylie.

RNLI stations and their volunteer crew are well documented however supporting them are a small group of volunteers who dedicate their time to fund raising, running their shops, but also helping out with the day to day operations of the station. Without these people the RNLI would not be able to continue saving lives at sea.

Anthony (Tony) Wylie was recently honoured with a forty year long service award in recognition of his services in launching the lifeboat.

Although Tony was never an active crew member, he came from a family with close connections to Ramsgate RNLI, with several of his Uncle's becoming part of the volunteer crew.

He left school and started an apprenticeship to become a book binder however he wanted an outdoor life and in 1968 he decided to get a job working for Ramsgate Harbour.

By 1973 Tony was working in Port Control which is based at the end of the East Pier at the entrance to the Ramsgate Royal Harbour. In those days if there was a situation at sea, Port control would be the first contact for HM Coastguard, who would phone and then it was his decision to launch the lifeboat.

When there was immediate peril to life Tony would make the decision to fire the maroon, which was a booming rocket, originally from the end of the pier, and then in later years from the RNLI station.

Although the volunteer crews these days use pagers to be alerted about a launch, up until 2009 the lifeboat crew, who mainly live and work around the harbour, were summoned by the firing of a maroon flare, a familiar sound for the people of Ramsgate. However Port Control still to this day set off a recorded message and siren to make people around the town aware that the lifeboat is launching and to clear the way to allow the crew to get to the boats.

Although employed by the Harbour, Tony was also responsible for completing the service reports for the RNLI, listing and detailing all of the launches.

Upon his retirement from the Harbour five years ago, Tony became Deputy Launch Authority and then two years later, when Ray Noble retired, he took over as Lifeboat Operations Manager responsible for the smooth running of the station until this day.

Although the Coastguards can request the launch of a lifeboat the final decision in Ramsgate lies with Tony and in the past he has refused after considering the situation.

He has to bear in mind that the RNLI is funded solely by donations from the public and he has the responsibility to ensure the lifeboats are always available to set to sea to rescue lives.

It's a fine balance and when prior to laying cable, a survey of the seabed found armaments from World War II, a request was made by the Coastguards for a bomb disposal team to be taken out to the site in the inshore lifeboat. This was for a private company and would mean that the inshore lifeboat would be off station and not available should there be a need for it so a decision was taken to regretfully refuse the request.

Another time a buoy in the channel had come adrift and the request came through for the lifeboat to retrieve it as it may have been a danger to shipping. Having assessed the situation Tony realised that a Trinity House vessel was in the area, so asked for them to be sent after the buoy instead of launching the lifeboat.

It is his qualities of being able to assess a situation from many years of experience and remain calm under pressure that have made him such a good Lifeboat Operations Manager.

Coxswain Ian Cannon who nominated him for this reward said, ' Tony is a knowledgeable, trustworthy man and a fine Operations Manager. He has supported the RNLI for over forty years, and this well deserved award is in recognition of his service.'

The award was presented at the station, but sadly due to current operating restrictions it was a low key affair and Tony's wife, of forty seven years, Elaine and his daughter Ria were unable to attend. However that probably suited Tony who has always avoided the limelight, and dislikes making speeches preferring to work quietly in the background, something he has in common with many of our loyal volunteers.
Tony Wylie on the left being presented with his 40 years Award by Coxswain Ian Cannon on the right.
Photo by Karen Cox
24th September 2020
A busy twelve hours for Ramsgate RNLI
The volunteer crew of Ramsgate RNLI saw two launches in twelve hours to a yacht with engine failure on Monday 21 September and in the early hours of Tuesday 22 September to a collision in the busy shipping lane between a yacht and a cargo vessel.

A warm evening is always attractive for people who like sailing but with the wind dying completely, and unable to start their engine, the crew of a yacht had no choice but to drop anchor off Stone Bay in Broadstairs, to stop themselves drifting and call for help.

Ramsgate RNLI launched the inshore lifeboat Claire and David Delves at the request of HM Coastguard at 5.09pm on Monday 21 September and once on scene were able to fix a tow line and towed the yacht to the safety of Ramsgate Harbour.

Twelve hours later on Tuesday 22 September at 5.34am the volunteer crew's pagers went off again, this time to reports of a yacht in the shipping lane eight miles North East off Ramsgate near the North East Spit. The English Channel is known as the busiest shipping lane in the world and great caution is needed when crossing it.

The nine meter yacht had collided with a cargo vessel bow on and only had a solo sailor onboard. Thankfully the yacht was of wooden construction and the wood had absorbed the impact to the bow and remained afloat.

A Pilot boat, operating from Ramsgate for Estuary Services Ltd , was in the area and immediately went to the aid of the stricken yacht standing by until the lifeboat Esme Anderson arrived.

The sailor was unharmed and didn't want to be taken onboard the lifeboat. He was able to skipper the boat back to Ramsgate Harbour, where two of the volunteer crew were placed onboard to help him moor the yacht.

The Coxswain of the Lifeboat Ian Cannon said, ' Sailing is a challenging and exhilarating sport but even more so when undertaken as a solo sailor. We would always recommend that they wear a lifejacket and a lifeline at all times and carry a means of communication. Even the most experienced sailor can be caught out when on a night passage.'
Photos by Ramsgate RNLI
31st July 2020

Ramsgate RNLI all weather boat was launched twice yesterday, Thursday 30th July to the same boat.

The initial launch was at 12.30 when HM Coastguard requested them to go to the aid of a grounded yacht with five men and two women onboard that had got stuck on a falling tide in the area of the B2 Buoy. The sea conditions were calm with a gentle force 3 north east breeze so after four attempts to tow the yacht off, the decision was taken to take five of the people back to Ramsgate, leaving two to stay with the yacht which by now was on its side and wait for the tide to rise.

The Inshore and her volunteer crew returned at 17.15 when the tide was high and was able to attach a line and pull the yacht into deeper water. They then escorted the yacht back into Ramsgate Harbour.
Photo by Mark Stanford
31st July 2020

Our volunteer crew member Emma Sutton was asked by the RNLI press team to read a poem of thanks to all of the RNLI’s supporters.

This came about as Emma was invited to talk at the Royal Temple YC in Ramsgate for International Women’s Day by club member and Lifeboat Press Officer Karen Cox.

As a result of the coverage they asked Karen if she and Emma would like to work together to film the poem. So last Friday they got together at Ramsgate Lifeboat station and filmed the poetry reading on Karen’s iPhone. This was sent off to the RNLI press department at Poole, who worked their magic and today it was released on the RNLI’s social media channels.

It just proved that even with social distancing, and finding new ways of working, the RNLI can still show their heartfelt appreciation to everyone who supports them. Without the public’s donation we would be unable to continue our role of saving lives at sea,
31st July 2020

Have you ever looked closely at Ramsgate’s town crest?

The top left is the symbol of Kent the ‘Invicta’ horse, bottom left is the dolphin, showing the importance of the town as the home of the fishing fleet. Top right is the lion’s head joined to the hulk of a ship, this is the badge of the Cinque Ports. And bottom right is the golden lymhad or single masted galley. This signifies the importance Ramsgate had with the sea trade in and around the harbour.

HOWEVER on either side of the crest, are the supporters - Since 1934, the 50th anniversary and incorporation, the use of supporters were allowed and these take the form of a lifeboatman and coastguard.

Our ties with Ramsgate stretch back to 1802 when a lifeboat station was established by the trustees of the harbour, pre dating the formation of any National Lifeboat organisation by more than 20 years.

Thank you all for your support over the years.
27th July 2020
Dr William (Bill) Crawford
We all, at Ramsgate Lifeboat Station, are saddened to hear of the death of Bill Crawford.

In his working life as a GP, Bill took a deep personal interest in his patients. He knew details of their family, employment, interests and home circumstances, as well as their medical needs. Around the time that he retired from regular practise and joined the Management Committee of the Ramsgate RNLI in 1989-90, this background served the Station well for he knew many people and in particular those who were able and could be persuaded to help out when needed. In fact several of our volunteers were recruited by him.

Bill became Vice Chairman in March 1992, and was elected to the Chairmanship in May 1995, a position he held for over seventeen years, until moving house away from the area forced him to resign in October 2012. He was subsequently made a President of the Station in November of the same year.

A real gentleman, Bill never sought the limelight and worked quietly in the background, His meetings were run efficiently and effectively in a business-like manner. He earned and received the respect of committee members, coxswains, crew and fundraisers alike.

He will be sadly missed by us all.
Ron Fennell
27 /07/20
27th July 2020

On Sunday 26th July Ramsgate RNLI received a visit from Dutch yachtsman Simon Ramaekers.

Many will remember the awful day on 30th April 2018 when three visiting Dutch sailors sailed into Ramsgate to shelter from a storm. They decided to walk around the harbour to get a coffee from the Brasserie not realising it was closed.

Sadly a huge wave crashed over the harbour wall washing two of them into the water, one of whom Aad Fokker died. Simon was badly injured with a broken hip but managed to scramble to shelter where he was later rescued.

Simon has returned a few times to the station but on Sunday he sailed over with his family to present a plaque in memory of his friend which will be put up on the outside of the station for everyone to see. He was met by a few members of the RNLI who were able to share their memories of that awful day.
L- R Ray Noble, David and Simon Ramaekers and Karen Cox LPO.
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