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Walmer Lifeboat rescues yacht aground on Goodwin Sands

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Following a MAYDAY call from the yacht "Gema" aground on the Goodwin Sands, Dover Coastguard requested the Walmer Atlantic 85 lifeboat be launched to rescue the crew and the yacht. The lifeboat was afloat with a crew of four and going to the casualty at 35 knots by 4.35 pm on Friday 22nd May.

The weather was sunny with good visibility, but a 25 knot south westerly wind was blowing. The time was approaching low water and seas were breaking on the Sands. The yacht was located approximately one mile south west of the East Goodwin lightship on the east side of the Sands and found to be Belgian vessel, ten metres long, on passage to Ramsgate. Dover Lifeboat also launched for this rescue.

The greater speed and shorter distance enabled Walmer Lifeboat to reach the casualty first. The helmsman managed to get alongside the casualty amongst the seas and put a crewman from the Lifeboat on board the casualty. The yacht was taking a pounding but remained watertight. A tow was rigged and Walmer Lifeboat was able to pull the casualty off the Sands as the waves lifted the yacht. The yacht's crew of three were tired and frightened. The Walmer Lifeboat towed the yacht for approximately one mile towards Ramsgate at 4 knots before Dover Lifeboat took over the tow and took the casualty to Ramsgate. The Walmer crew member remained on board the casualty for the tow to Ramsgate."


John Turgoose

Walmer Lifeboat Press Officer


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