Two people have been rescued after their inflatable dinghy was blown out to sea, sparking drama on a Kent beach packed with sunbathers.
The incident happened off the coast of Joss Bay in Thanet at around 3.30pm.
The coastguard received a call from RNLI lifeguards at the beach reporting they were going to help two people who were being taken seawards on the flimsy vessel by the wind and tide.
One of the lifeguards on a rescue board had reached the craft, which was being blown towards Botany Bay, but back up was requested.
Margate’s RNLI inshore lifeboat quickly found the dinghy around 400 yards offshore between Botany Bay and Foreness Point.
The two people were rescued and checked over, before being returned to their family on the beach.
An area of Joss Bay busy with sunbathers had to be cleared to allow the lifeboat to land.
Lee Button, deputy launching authority for the Margate RNLI said: "Thanks are due to the Joss Bay lifeguards who quickly recognised the developing situation, responded and called it in to the coastguard for further assistance while reassuring the dinghy’s occupants.
"The fact that it drifted around two miles in a short space of time indicates the peril with using inflatables at sea which are quickly influenced by environmental conditions making it difficult to return to shore."
Just weeks ago the RNLI issued a warning about the use of dinghies in the sea, after a man in his 20s was blown out to sea off Sheppey. A lifeguard paddled half-a-mile to save him.
Meanwhile, in Minster on Sheppey, the coastguard was called out to a 'craft' of a different type this afternoon.
A car had become submerged after being caught out by the tide near the shingle bank, and was being monitored by the emergency services for fear it would float away.