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Full scale sea search operation launched to find missing swimmers off Walmer

A major search operation was launched after a woman rescued at sea reported a further seven swimmers were unaccounted for.

Walmer Lifeboat crew was called out at 1.17pm on Saturday.

The station’s Dougie Rudbard ll was launched, with one swimmer reported missing off Deal Pier.

Emergency services were called out to help find missing swimmers
Emergency services were called out to help find missing swimmers

But when the woman who raised the alarm was reached she told the volunteer manning the shop it was possible a further seven swimmers may be unaccounted for.

A major operation was called, with ambulance control sending further support vehicles, and the Coastguard helicopter and the relief Atlantic 85 Lifeboat The Drayton Manor were also launched.

Duggie Rodbard II
Duggie Rodbard II

The original woman swimmer was treated by ambulance crews, after her condition worsened.

Spokesman Andy Worwood said: “Walmer Lifeboats, under the Command of Lee Waddon and Andrew Coe, searched the area from Deal Pier to the Down’s Sailing Club and made contact with some of the other swimmers associated with the group.

“They confirmed that all swimmers had been accounted for so Dover Coastguard stood down Rescue 163 six minutes out and then the two Walmer Lifeboats, which returned to the station at 1.45pm and 1.50pm respectively.”

With the summer swimming season about to begin, Mr Worwood gave a safety reminder.

He said: “When a group goes out they should make sure they have someone that can co-ordinate their movements in case they do get split up.”

The RNLI is among the first of Britain’s charities to stop their doorstep canvassing in line with anticipated new legislation.

This means that charity needs more financial help. If this rescue has inspired you, visit the lifeboat station off The Strand, Walmer, to make a donation and browse the gift shop.

Otherwise you can donate securely online by visiting: rnli.org

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