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The crew of the Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) were called by the UK Coastguard at 8.33am on Friday 13 October reporting that a yacht had run aground on Hoo Island in the River Medway with its sails still set. The crew located the craft at 9.09am and found the yacht hard aground on the island. The single male occupant of the craft reported that he lived onboard the boat and was quite happy to await the next high tide to re-float him and then make his way back to his mooring at Strood. The ILB was released at 9.26am and was back on station at 9.50am. Weather conditions at the time of the incident were fair with the wind SW force 5.
Sheppey’s new inshore lifeboat has been named Buster after a 99-year-old man who loved “messing about in boats”. The D-class rigid inflatable, with a top speed of 25 knots, was delivered to Sheerness on August 11 and has already been on 34 call-outs. On Sunday, more than 100 volunteer crew, supporters and friends of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute gathered in Queenborough’s Elephant Park to give the 5m-long rescue boat its name. Brian Mills, Buster’s son who sprayed champagne over the bows of the £52,000 boat, said: “It was a very proud moment for me to name the boat after my late father.
On Sunday afternoon, 9 April, a man fell about 10 feet onto another crew member from the mast of a yacht moored in Gillingham Reach. While the injured man was given oxygen, the Sheerness Inshore Lifeboat fetched a paramedic from an ambulance waiting at Gillingham Marina and then transferred him ashore. We understand the man suffered broken ribs.
There were two jet skis and eight personal watercraft (PWCs) in the area at the time and some of these were creating a lot of wash which was a nuisance and hazard to youngsters being trained in dinghy sailing at the Strand. The speed limit here is 6 knots (approx 7mph). Trevor Peen, a director of Medway Watersports, radioed Medway VTS to report this activity but could not get a response. When he called by phone he was told there was nothing they could do.
Mr Peen said, “I have campaigned for several years for parties to manage this situation, which gets worse every year to the point that these PWCs can achieve speeds in excess of 50 mph. During the afternoon I overheard a call on the VHF that there was an incident 1 mile east of the marina. It just so happens that I also belong to the Medway Cruising Club where these moorings are, so I know the area well. I went down to slow traffic down in the river as someone had fallen from a mast, I was told by the people on the boat that three speeding PWCs had created so much wash that the guy fell from the mast.”
Mr Peen added, “Three years ago when there was an incident that involved these craft on a jetty at Gillingham Marina, I was interviewed by BBC South east. I said that until someone dies here then nothing will be done. I have reported these incidents so often including photos. Please don’t let someone’s son or daughter die at the Strand.”
- Total launches in 2016 for the Sheerness lifeboats were 83.
- A total of 86 persons were rescued with 4 being deemed as lives saved with casualty care being administered by the crew
- 7 of the rescues involved persons under 18 years of age with the other 79 being over 18.
On 28 February the Sheerness inshore lifeboat rescued two men in their 6 metre RIB after it was swamped near the Kingsnorth jetty. A spokesman for Sheerness RNLI said, “The men were actually out in the craft for the first time when they were swamped by a wave which caused total electrical and engine failure.” The boat was towed to Queenborough Harbour.
Early yesterday morning the Sheerness lifeboat was called to a report of a burning vessel in the Prince’s Channel. On arrival they saw that it was the Princes No 5 buoy in flames, some 7 miles north of Herne Bay.
63-year-old yachtsman Ken Milburn, a member of Lower Halstow Yacht Club, has visited the RNLI station at Sheerness to personally thank the crew. In the early hours of 19 May Ken fell into the water when loading gear from his dinghy. Fortunately someone heard his cries for help and the crew of the Sheerness Inshore Lifeboat came to the rescue. Ken says a simple safety measure saved him, “Put your life jacket on. Go for a self-inflating one – fifty quid to save your life. Without one I would not be here!”