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River Medway rescue after fire on board yacht

A man who got into trouble after a fire on board a yacht was rescued in the early hours - with help from his wife on dry land.

A lifeboat crew was launched to help the man after a blaze broke out on the vessel moored off Gillingham in the River Medway.

Sheerness RNLI lifeboat at sea. Stock photo: RNLI
Sheerness RNLI lifeboat at sea. Stock photo: RNLI

But the only communication the crew had with the yacht was by mobile phone through the man’s wife who was ashore.

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI all-weather lifeboat The George and Ivy Swanson were alerted by the UK Coastguard at 3.02am on Sunday and the crew of six launched just under 20 minutes later, arriving at 3.47am.

They found the casualty, which was moored amidships onto a buoy close to Gillingham Reach.

With the lifeboat alongside, the owner said the fire was out but was worried it may re-ignite.

He was taken off and back to shore at Gillingham marina and into the care of the Medway Coastguard Rescue Team. An ambulance was also waiting.

The lifeboat returned to the yacht and two crew went onboard to re-secure it from its bow. There were no further signs of any smouldering or fire.

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