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Lifeboat called to free cruiser caught by crab pot lines

By John Nurden

A pleasure cruiser has been rescued after being stuck fast after crab pot lines fouled its propellers.

Sheerness RNLI all-weather lifeboat the George and Ivy Swanson was launched at 5.32pm on Saturday after Coastguards received a call that the 28-foot pleasure cruiser Ellie May was disabled but anchored near the Second World War Maunsell sea forts at Red Sands off the coast of Whitstable.

Two men were on board.

The Ellie May under tow with the Red Sands Forts on the left. Picture: RNLI Sheerness
The Ellie May under tow with the Red Sands Forts on the left. Picture: RNLI Sheerness

RNLI spokesman Vic Booth said: "The craft had fouled its propellers in the lines from a string of pots and was being held fast to the sea bed."

The rescue crew arrived just after 6pm and cut the lines.

But with rope still entangling the propellers, the craft was towed to Sheerness docks where further unsuccessful attempts were made to cut the rope free.

The Ellie May under tow. Picture: RNLI Sheerness
The Ellie May under tow. Picture: RNLI Sheerness

The craft spent the night moored at Sheerness and was towed back to its base at Gillingham today.

The lifeboat returned to its station at 8.37pm on Saturday.

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