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Lifeboat called out whilst refuelling from an earlier job

Crocodile 1

Walmer Lifeboat had a busy afternoon on Saturday 29th August. The boat was first launched shortly after 1pm following the report of children being swept out to sea in a small inflatable. The informant had stated that the two children had fallen out the inflatable and were approximately 1/2 mile of the Sandwich Bay Estate. The Atlantic 85 was launched well within ten minutes, by which time the informant had seen the children clamber back into the inflatable but still in a perilous position some distance from the beach. Walmer Lifeboat was on scene in around 8 minutes but fortunately a passing pleasure boat, unware that the Lifeboat was enroute, had spotted the children and delivered them safely to shore.

The Lifeboat returned to station and the crew started their routine of refueling and cleaning the boat. Just as the last drop of fuel had gone in the tank the distincitve sound of the station phone could be heard. The crew were soon being passed back their helmets and lifejackets and were heading out for the second shout in an hour. This time a member of the public had reported to Coastguard that a child in difficulties with a small sailing dingy off the beach at North Deal. Walmer Lifeboat was on scene within minutes but the child has abandoned the dingy and made it back to shore with the help of an adult who had swum out to their rescue. Walmer's crew, Andrew Coe, Andrew Murray, Gary Pearce and Sam Culpin were able to right the dingy, bail out the worst of the water and reunite the vessel with its owner on the shore.

Les Coe, the veteran Lifeboat Station Manager, could not recall in all his 53 years at the station a case of the Lifeboat being launched a second time whilst still being refuelled from the first shout. *

Article by Sam Culpin.


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