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Man rescued from sinking boat at Queenborough, Sheppey, by RNLI

A man was rescued from a sinking boat in the early hours of Tuesday.

Sheerness lifeboat was sent to help him in Queenborough Harbour, Sheppey, just after midnight.

Sheerness lifeboat
Sheerness lifeboat

RNLI spokesman Vic Booth said: "The small dory-type craft, with one man onboard, was taking on water and sinking near the S1 buoy.

The crew found the man and boat at 12.35am.

Mr Booth said: "A local fishing boat was already on the scene and giving assistance to the now partly-submerged vessel and its occupant, who was still onboard.

"The man, who was very cold and wet, was quickly transferred to the lifeboat and taken back to the shore where he was handed into the care of the Sheppey Coastguard Rescue Team."

As an ambulance crew checked the survivor a second man turned up and said he had also been on the boat but had managed to swim to shore.

All-tide landing stage at Queenborough Harbour
All-tide landing stage at Queenborough Harbour

Mr Booth said: "This chap was also very cold and wet and was also checked over by the medics."

The lifeboat crew returned to the sunken craft and towed it to a safer position nearer the shore before returning to their station at 1.20am.

Mr Booth said: "It appears the men had recently acquired the boat and had been working on it all day.

"Having got it working they decided to take it out for a test run.

"While out on the water the engine began to play up so they returned to shore.

Queenborough slipway or 'hard'. Picture: John Nurden
Queenborough slipway or 'hard'. Picture: John Nurden

"They had begun winching the boat back onto its trailer when something broke and the boat was catapulted back into the water where it struck rocks, which presumably put a hole in the keel.

"Details of what happened next are a bit ‘sketchy’ but it was noted that both men had been wearing life-jackets."

Two children had to be rescued at the other end of the Island when their dinghy was blown a mile out to sea by the wind.

The RNLI has repeated its safety advice for visiting the seaside.

• Take care near cliffs - know your route and your limitations.

• Have a plan - check the weather forecast and tide times.

• If you fall into the water unexpectedly, fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs and float.

• Sailors must ensure all equipment is properly checked and serviceable.

• In an emergency dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

Queenborough Harbour, Sheppey. Picture: John Nurden
Queenborough Harbour, Sheppey. Picture: John Nurden

Read more: Stories from the Isle of Sheppey

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