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Joint effort by Dungeness and Littlestone RNLI to rescue yacht run aground

On Saturday 8 May 2021 at 08.01am, the Dungeness Shannon-class lifeboat was tasked to assist a yacht that had run aground off Littlestone. It was reported the yacht had damaged its mast and was in difficulty in poor weather conditions.


View from Littlestone Lifeboat of Dungeness towing the casualty vessel - RNLI/Dean Miller

The RNLI lifeboat launched at 8.15am in gusts of wind up to force 7 with poor visibility and proceeded to the scene just off the shoreline at Littlestone. The coxswain then contacted the UK Coastguard and requested that the Littlestone inshore lifeboat be launched to assist. Once on scene, it was established that the vessel was stuck aground in the sand and the mast was damaged. A towline was then thrown to the casualty vessel and set up ready for towing away from the shoreline.

Littlestone lifeboat then arrived on scene and was able to taxi two crewmen off Dungeness lifeboat and then onto the casualty vessel.

Once the crewmen were onboard and the lifeboat had freed the yacht, a damage assessment was carried out and it was decided the vessel was in a good enough condition to tow to Dover. Littlestone lifeboat were then stood down.

After approximately two hours of towing, the Dungeness lifeboat arrived in Dover and made the casualty vessel safe in the harbour.

The lifeboat arrived back at station at around 1pm and was made ready for service.

Stuart Adams, RNLI Coxswain for Dungeness RNLI Lifeboat, says: ‘It was a tremendous effort today by all our volunteer crew and I was pleased to see such great teamwork between Dungeness and Littlestone to bring the yacht to safety. Our crews have maintained their high standard of training throughout the pandemic and this could be seen in their accomplishments today.’

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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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. 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 142,700 lives.

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