Published: 06:00, 02 April 2021
The RNLI have issued a stark warning to people heading to the beaches after it was called out to rescue the same dinghy twice within an hour.
On Tuesday, March 30, just a day after coronavirus restriction were eased the Sheppey based team helped three people in danger, including a 15-year-old girl.
At around 3.30pm the RNLI's inshore lifeboat was called after receiving concerns a young girl was drifting off Sheerness seafront.
Launching 20 minutes later the volunteer crew arrived within eight minutes, collecting the worried girl and fitting her with a life jacket before reteurning her to shore and into the care of the Sheppey Coastguard Rescue Team.
They returned to their base at 4.19pm, before called out on another task just before 4.40pm to help the same dinghy which was back in the water and had broken down with two people onboard who were trying to get back to a yacht which was moored off the Island.
The same three crew members were deployed and arrived at the scene at 4.50pm to fit both occupants with life jackets and transport them back to their vessel.
The lifeboat was released from the incident at 5.10pm.
'It is important that anyone visiting the coast understands the risk...'
Sheerness RNLI spokesman Vic Booth said: "With lockdown restrictions easing and good weather forecast we are expecting our beaches and local waters to be busy, especially over the Easter weekend and during school holidays.
"Many people will want to visit our coastline and participate in water-based activities such as swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, boating and angling.
"At present there are no RNLI lifeguards on beaches and although our volunteer lifeboat crews are fully operational, should they be needed, it is important that anyone visiting the coast understands the risk and takes the necessary steps to keep themselves safe.
"This will also help to reduce the demands placed on our lifeboat crews and other emergency services including HM Coastguard.
"In this way we can all work together to succeed in ensuring the coast is a safe place to visit."
The RNLI offered advice to people visiting the coast including taking care near cliffs, having a plan before you head out and avoiding fighting your instinct to thrash around in the water if you fall in and remember "float to live".
In any coastal emergency dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.