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Children in a dinghy off Leysdown, Sheppey, snatched to safety by Whitstable lifeboat crew

Two children and an adult had a lucky escape when their inflatable dinghy was found drifting one mile off the coast.

The three had been blown out to sea from Leysdown on the Isle of Sheppey by force 4 winds yesterday afternoon and had to be rescued by the RNLI's Whitstable lifeboat.

Whitstable lifeboat comes alongside the inflatable dinghy after the craft and it's three occupants were blown offshore from Leysdown, Isle of Sheppey on Tuesday afternoon. Picture: RNLI
Whitstable lifeboat comes alongside the inflatable dinghy after the craft and it's three occupants were blown offshore from Leysdown, Isle of Sheppey on Tuesday afternoon. Picture: RNLI

Lifeboat helmsman Rob Judge said: "We have attended numerous incidents involving inflatable dinghies and beach toys being blown offshore.

"If people must use such craft then our advice is to always be aware of wind and tide and to have someone on shore keeping watch on them.

"In addition, they should carry some means of communication with that person on shore or be able to contact the coastguard in the event of difficulty."

He added: "It was fortunate that on this occasion the Sheppey Coastguard rescue team had spotted the dinghy and its inhabitants and were able to request the launch of the lifeboat and we were able to return them to the beach they had left a short while earlier.

"Otherwise we might have had a different outcome.

Leysdown beach this weekend where the RNLI lifeguards were on duty
Leysdown beach this weekend where the RNLI lifeguards were on duty

"It is all too easy for what begins as a nice day at the seaside to turn into a tragedy if people are unaware of a few simple safety precautions."

There is advice on all sea safety issues on the RNLI websites.

The lifeboat was launched at 3.10pm.

RNLI spokesman Chris Davey said: "The lifeboat was quickly on scene, with the Sheppey Coastguard rescue team keeping the dinghy in sight from the shore, and found the craft one mile off Leysdown.

"The occupants and their craft were returned to the beach and into the care of the coastguard team."

The rescue took 20 minutes.

Read more: Isle of Sheppey stories here


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