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Dungeness RNLI tasked to man overboard in gale force winds

At 3.17am on 24 September 2019, Dungeness RNLI along with a UK Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopter from Lydd were tasked to a sailing vessel with a man overboard in gale force winds.

Due to the casualty wearing a lifejacket with effective strobe lights, the helicopter crew were able to clearly see the person in the water on their way to the search area and subsequently lifted the casualty from the water. The person was then taken to hospital in Ashford for treatment.

Whilst on scene, the lifeboat crew established that the man that had remained aboard the casualty vessel was in difficulty due to the rescue line being stuck in the propeller. Two volunteer crew boarded the yacht to assist and it was decided they should tow the vessel to Dover.

Dover RNLI then assisted Dungeness RNLI in towing the casualty vessel into the harbour.

Coxswain, Stuart Adams says: ‘The fact the casualty had a light on his jacket meant the helicopter could locate him easily in the dark. If the casualty hadn’t been wearing a lifejacket, it could have been a very different story due to the terrible conditions. The weather was extremely challenging and the person on board the casualty vessel made the correct call to the UK Coastguard as soon as there was a problem.’

dungeness rnli tasked to man overboard in gale force winds

View of the casualty and Dungeness lifeboat from Dover lifeboat - Photo by RNLI/John Miell

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Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity 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 180 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 140,000 lives.

A charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SCO37736). Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland