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Dungeness tasked to search for missing Belgium trawler

On Wednesday 28 January at 5.08pm, the lifeboat was tasked by Dover Coastguard to search for a Belgium trawler with four persons on board, 10 miles south of Dungeness that had been reported as missing.

The Dungeness Shannon class lifeboat 13-02 The Morrell with her voluntary crew launched in west-northwest winds gusting to force 7 in a heavy sea. RNLI Lifeboats from Dover and later Hastings together with Coastguard and French helicopters joined in the search for the missing trawler.

At 1am the following morning after eight hours of seaching the English Channel, the Dungeness lifeboat was stood down as nothing was found and was instructed to return to station.

Later that morning at 10.00am the three RNLI lifeboats together with other rescue units and helicopters were reassembled and the search was resumed. At 3 pm debris was identified, 20 miles southeast of Dungeness and the lifeboat continued to search the area until it was recalled by the coastguard at 5.30 pm. Lifeboat was re-carriaged and ready for service by 7.00 pm.

Chris Ubee, the RNLI Dungeness Lifeboat Operations Manager said 'Our dedicated volunteers have worked very professionally during the past difficult twenty four hours and on behalf of everyone here on station our thoughts are with casualties families at this time'.

The Coxswain in charge of the Dungeness lifeboat, Stuart Adams said 'we did all we could with our volunteer crews working in some challenging conditions throughout the two launches'.

The Morrell

Dungeness RNLI Shannon class lifeboat 13-02 ‘The Morrell’

RNLI media contacts

  • Judith Richardson – Dungeness RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer
    01797 320062 / 07859 264226 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
    0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • James Oxley, RNLI Press Officer (London/South East/East)
    0207 6207425 / 07786 668825 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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Key facts about the RNLI: The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 140 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 137,000 lives.

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A charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland.