15th February

Sheerness RNLI lifeboat involved in a multi-agency rescue during ‘storm Dennis’.
The Sheerness all weather lifeboat was called out along with other emergency services to come to the aid of a person in difficulties in the River Medway
The volunteer crew of the Sheerness all weather lifeboat ‘George and Ivy Swanson’ were tasked at 1827 on Saturday 15 February by the UK Coastguard to reports of a man in a small dinghy,seen to be in difficulties, close to number 32 buoy west of St.Marys Island in the River Medway.
Launching at 1841 with a crew of six and having made best speed in the very poor conditions the lifeboat was on the scene at 1912.
The casualty craft with its lone occupant,who was sheltering under a small tent, was located approximately approximately 50 meters from the shore where teams from Kent Fire and Rescue,Kent Ambulance service and the Medway Coastguard Rescue Team were in attendance.
It is believed the man had been attempting to row to shore but was caught out by the atrocious weather conditions. Having got into difficulties he had deployed an anchor which had fortunately held and stopped him drifting further into the estuary.
With no safe access from the shore the lifeboat was skilfully maneuvered into a position where it was possible for crew members to safely recover the man from his dinghy and then land him ashore where he was passed into the care of the other waiting agencies at 1930
The rescue involved the lifeboat crew getting a line across to the man in his dinghy and then pulling it alongside where they were then able to lift him aboard. With its anchor lifted,but with the safety of its occupant paramount, the little craft had drifted away.
With the man safely ashore the lifeboat began an unsuccessful search for his dinghy and were eventually stood down at 1953 after reporting its last known position to the coastguard.
The ALB was back on station at 2015. Wind F5 gusting 8 to 9 with rough seas,visibility good.