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Dungeness and Dover lifeboats rescue two men from dinghy in the English Channel

Lifeboat crews have rescued two men from a dinghy in the busy English Channel in the early hours of this morning (Thursday 14 April).

At 2.17am volunteer crew members from Dover and Dungeness RNLI lifeboat stations were requested to launch by Dover Coastguard following reports of a small inflatable dinghy adrift in the shipping lanes.

Dover’s Severn class lifeboat and the Shannon class lifeboat from Dungeness began a search but while this was happening, someone aboard a P&O passenger ferry spotted a feint white light at approximately 3.30am.

The Coastguard asked Dover lifeboat crew to investigate and the crew found two men in a 10ft inflatable craft, approximately 1 mile from the coastline. It is believed the light was from a mobile phone they were using to make a call to the UK emergency services.

Dover RNLI crew recovered the two men to the lifeboat and they were made warm and given first aid. The lifeboat crew returned to their station and the two men were handed over to Kent Police. Meanwhile Dungeness RNLI lifeboat crew were stood down and returned to station.

Allen Head, Divisional Operations Manager for the RNLI, said: 'This incident shows the commitment that our volunteer crew members make, leaving their beds and families in the early hours of the morning to assist those at risk of losing their lives at sea.'

‘Our remit is simply to assist those in danger or distress at sea – we make no judgement and it is not for us to distinguish between people’s reasons for being at sea. Our primary function as a search and rescue charity is to do just that.'

‘We launched as requested and brought the two men back to the safety of dry land. Once we were satisfied they were no longer at risk we handed them into the care of other authorities to deal with them in the appropriate manner.’


RNLI media contacts

  • 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/East/South 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