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Sheerness RNLI rescue marooned sailor from mud in River Medway at Gilllingham

By John Nurden

A sailor has been rescued after his boat ran aground on a mud bank.

Sheerness inshore lifeboat Buster was launched just before 2pm yesterday (Friday) after the 16-foot craft was seen drifting out of control on the River Medway at Gillingham.

A volunteer RNLI crewman clambered over mud to reach the boat but the owner didn't want to leave. The vessel was later towed to safety.

Sheerness inshore lifeboat crew in action on Buster. File photo: RNLI
Sheerness inshore lifeboat crew in action on Buster. File photo: RNLI

RNLI spokesman Vic Booth said: "We had reports of the craft with one man onboard drifting out of control in the busy River Medway shipping channel.

"Having made best speed in the poor conditions, the lifeboat arrived on the scene at 2.17pm."

By that time, the yacht had run aground.

Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat at Queenborough. File photo
Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat at Queenborough. File photo

Mr Booth said: "A crewman walked across the mud to the casualty and spoke to the owner who was very reluctant to leave the vessel which, it was noted, had no communications, no engine or sails or any means of securing it, such as an anchor.

"While the lifeboat stood by, a local craft offered to try to tow the casualty off the mud bank. This was successful. From there, it was towed to a mooring off Gillingham Marina."

Once the craft was safe, the man was taken ashore by the lifeboat crew and met by the Medway Coastguard Rescue Team.

Sheerness Lifeboat was holding its open day today (Saturday) at the all-tide landing as part of the Queenborough Independence Day celebrations.

For more Sheppey stories click here.

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