The volunteer crew of the Sheerness all weather lifeboat ‘The George and Ivy Swanson’ were tasked by the UK Coastguard at 9.06pm on Saturday 13 July to reports of a 30′ trimaran with 3 POB, one of which was the skipper who had been taken ill. The ALB launched at 9.28pm and was on scene at 9.42pm.The casualty was located in the vicinity of the Mid Cant Beacon in the Thames Estuary.
The Whitstable Atlantic 85 Lifeboat ‘Lewisco’ was also in attendance and had initially taken the casualty vessel in tow and put a crew member on board to assess the skipper.
At 9.48pm the ALB took over the tow and placed a crew member on board to continue casualty care. The ALB towed the vessel to Queenborough All Tide Landing where it was made secure.
Sheppey Coastguard Rescue team and the Ambulance service were also on scene and with the casualty handed over into their care the Lifeboat was released at 11.15pm and returned to mooring at 11.25pm. Wind E, F2/3. Visibility good. Sea state slight.
Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat was called out to two separate incidents in just over four hours in one day at the weekend.
The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat ‘Buster’ launched at 4.40pm on Sunday 7 July after being tasked by the UK Coastguard to a 22foot motor cruiser that had broken down and was drifting in the entrance to Stangate Creek in the River Medway.
The lifeboat located the casualty with three people onboard at 4.57pm and attached a towline. The three confirmed they were all ok and willing to remain onboard whilst their craft was towed back to the all tide landing at Queenborough Harbour.
The ILB was back on station at 6.10pm.
The Inshore lifeboat was tasked again later that evening at 9.04pm to reports of an inflatable with one or possibly two persons on board that was drifting approximately half a mile offshore at Sheerness.
The lifeboat carried out a search of the area, checking any objects that were sighted. The Sheppey Coastguard Rescue team made a search of the shoreline whilst the tug Svitzer Monarch, which was transiting the area, also kept a sharp lookout.
With the onset of darkness, the ILB returned to station to collect searchlights and night vision equipment to enable the search to continue.
With nothing untoward found the lifeboat was finally released at 11.05pm and was back on station and ready for service at 11.59pm
Wind E 2-3
Inshore lifeboat launched at 0715 to 22ft yacht reported aground in Stangate Creek, River Medway, one person on board. ILB arrived in Stangate creek, but no craft aground, after further info from UKCG, ILB located the craft aground and listing dangerously in Sharfleet Creek, having gone aground on a marshy outcrop and then sliding down bank, the owner was situated on the cabin roof, with nothing that could be done on the falling tide, the owner was taken on board the ILB and landed at Queenborough Harbour, where the owner would make arrangements to recover his craft on flood tide. NW 2.
Inshore lifeboat launched at 0235 to the assistance of a 22ft Yacht, who’s anchor had dragged and yacht was now almost aground on Jacob’s bank, close to Sheerness Seafront. There were two persons on board, ILB on scene at 0238, crew member transferred to attach a tow line, the craft was then towed to the safety of the ATL in Queenborough Harbour, where they were met by Sheppey CRT. ILB returned to station at 0342. NE 3.
Inshore lifeboat launched at 0652 to report of four persons stranded on the old Grain Martello Tower after being out there all night. ILB on scene at 0655, the four persons were helped on board the ILB and then taken to the ATL at Queenborough, where they were landed to Sheppey CRT, who gave safety advice. ILB returned to station at 0728. SSE 3.
All weather lifeboat launched at 1630 to 25ft Motorboat, broken down and at anchor, just NW of the Mid Swatch buoy, 1 person on board. On scene at 1645, crewman placed on board to establish tow, casualties anchor raised and craft safely under tow at 1650. Casualty craft secured on safe mooring in Queenborough harbour and lifeboat returned to station at 1800. WSW 4.
Sheerness RNLI all weather lifeboat ‘The George and Ivy Swanson’ were alerted to a vessel in trouble after hearing a Pan-Pan call over the VHF radio whilst the crew were on station training.
The casualty vessel was a Dutch river barge with a husband and wife couple on-board that was at anchor in the vicinity of Blacktail Spit, approximately 9 miles from Garrison Point on the Isle of Sheppey, having suffered total machinery and electrical failure.
The ‘Pan-Pan’ call was being relayed by a nearby deep drafted racing vessel . Shortly after it was reported the anchor was not holding.
The Southend RNLI Atlantic Lifeboat had been tasked to attend the incident by the UK Coastguard.
Due to bad VHF reception it was difficult to ascertain the exact details of the casualty, but it was heard to be 21m in length and had been on route from Burnham, Essex to Chatham Marina in the River Medway
The Sheerness RNLI duty Coxswain,, contacted UK Coastguard to inform them that the all- weather lifeboat had crew on station and was ready to launch immediately to assist if required.
At 11:55 a call from the UK Coastguard tasking the ALB to launch and give assistance was received.
Arriving on scene at 12:30pm and with the Southend Lifeboat already in attendance it was clear that the vessel was indeed 21m in length and due to the size and the prevailing conditions, wind F5/6 SW, it was clear that the Sheerness lifeboat would be needed to tow the casualty to safety. At 12:40pm, utilizing the Southend Lifeboat, 2 crew from Sheerness Lifeboat were placed onto the casualty vessel and a tow line was passed and secured.
As the casualty vessel was designed for river use, rather than the open sea, it had taken on a lot of water through the front doors and this had caused the electrical supply to cease working, which included the electric bilge pump and the electric anchor winch.
At 12:50pm after attempts to raise the anchor were unsuccessful, the chain was cut and the casualty put under tow.
The design of the casualty vessel meant that towing at more than approximately two knots into the wind and ebbing tide was causing further water ingress. The two Sheerness crew on board were bailing out the cabin areas as best they could. Therefore, a route was taken that caused as little water to enter the casualty as possible.
As the Lifeboat approached the Eastern side of the Island the weather had improved slightly and the towing speed was increased.
The Lifeboat arrived at Queenborough All Tide landing at 8.15pm and was met by the Sheppey Coastguard Rescue Unit and the two occupants were passed into their care. Chatham Marina were contacted, as this was the casualty’s intended destination, to inform them of the situation so that they would not raise the concern of them being overdue.
The casualty was made secure and the Lifeboat’s salvage pump was used to pump out as much water as possible. The Lifeboat was released at 8.50pm, returned to mooring at 9.00 pm where it was met by a shore crew who assisted in re-fueling and was ready for service at 9.25pm. Wind SW 5/6
Inshore Lifeboat launched at 1353 to small 16ft craft reported drifting in Gillingham Reach with one person on board, whilst on route to the scene, the craft was reported to have gone aground. The ILB arrived on scene and one crewman walked across to the casualty craft, which had no engine, anchor or any means of communication. A local craft in passing, offered to try and tow the craft clear of the mud, this was safely done and the local craft towed the casualty to a safe mooring, the ILB then transported the person ashore to Medway CRT. The ILB returned to station at 1531. SW 5.