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Dungeness lifeboat in mid channel rescue

Dungeness and Eastbourne lifeboats were involved in a multi-agency rescue yesterday when an open rib with nine people on board was reported as being in difficulties 26 miles east of Sovereign Harbour.

Earlier in the day, Dungeness and Dover lifeboats, along with coastguard rescue helicopter 163 were tasked to search for the rib in the busy shipping lanes of the English Channel. Once located, the casualties who had been adrift all night in severe weather conditions were in need of urgent medical assessment so to avoid delay in towing the rib back to harbour it was decided to task Eastbourne lifeboat to assist. The casualties were transferred to Dungeness lifeboat, which then made best speed to Sovereign Harbour. Meanwhile Eastbourne lifeboat had arrived on scene and took the rib under tow. Unhindered by the speed restriction of towing another vessel Dungeness lifeboat arrived back at Sovereign Harbour first. The nine casualties were passed to waiting Border Force officers, police and ambulance personnel. Some time later Eastbourne lifeboat returned towing the abandoned rib.

Eastbourne lifeboat in mid channel rescue

Photo credit: RNLI/Bob Jeffery

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  • 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.
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East)
    020 7620 7416 / 07786 66882 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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Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland.