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Video shows rescue of naked man from rowing boat on River Medway in Storm Dennis

Video footage has emerged showing the rescue of a man trapped on a rowing boat on the River Medway during Storm Dennis.

Emergency services scrambled to the scene on Saturday after residents on St Mary's Island in Chatham spotted the man inside a tent in a small rowing boat, around 20 metres off shore at around 5pm, as Storm Dennis hit.

Video footage by Stacey Gallagher shows the rescue of a man from the Medway during Storm Dennis.

The RNLI lifeboat service has now given a detailed breakdown of the rescue, while footage has also emerged taken by bystanders at the scene.

A spokesman said: "The Sheerness all weather lifeboat was called out along with other emergency services to come to the aid of a person in difficulties in the River Medway.

"The volunteer crew of the Sheerness all-weather lifeboat 'George and Ivy Swanson' were tasked at 6.27pm on Saturday by the UK Coastguard to reports of a man in a small dinghy, seen to be in difficulties, close to number 32 buoy west of St Mary's Island in the River Medway.

"Launching at 6.41pm with a crew of six and having made best speed in the very poor conditions the lifeboat was on the scene at 7.12pm.

Lifeboat crews attempt to rescue a man from the river Medway during Storm Dennis. Picture: Stacey Gallagher
Lifeboat crews attempt to rescue a man from the river Medway during Storm Dennis. Picture: Stacey Gallagher

"The casualty craft with its lone occupant,who was sheltering under a small tent, was located approximately approximately 50 metres from the shore where teams from Kent Fire and Rescue, Kent Ambulance service and, the Medway coastguard rescue team were in attendance.

"It is believed the man had been attempting to row to shore but was caught out by the atrocious weather conditions.

"Having got into difficulties he had deployed an anchor which had fortunately held and stopped him drifting further into the estuary."

The RNLI statement added: "With no safe access from the shore the lifeboat was skilfully manoeuvred into a position where it was possible for crew members to safely recover the man from his dinghy and then land him ashore where he was passed into the care of the other waiting agencies at 7.30pm.

"The rescue involved the lifeboat crew getting a line across to the man in his dinghy and then pulling it alongside where they were then able to lift him aboard.

"With its anchor lifted, but with the safety of its occupant paramount, the little craft had drifted away.

"With the man safely ashore the lifeboat began an unsuccessful search for his dinghy and were eventually stood down at 7.53pm after reporting its last known position to the coastguard."

The rescued man was passed into the care of paramedics.

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

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