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Margate lifeboat and coastguard rescue man tangled with wind turbine off Thanet coast

A sailor had to be rescued after falling into the water when his boat ran into trouble and tied up against a wind turbine.

The coastguard and Margate lifeboat were called to the windfarm off the Thanet coast last night after a vessel was reported to be in difficulty at 4pm and had lost a mast.

The lifeboat crew attended and towed the sailing boat back to Ramsgate Harbour after the boat suffered engine and rudder faults.

Margate lifeboat was called out to rescue a man in the water in the windfarm area off the Thanet coast. Picture: Mark Stanford (10445515)
Margate lifeboat was called out to rescue a man in the water in the windfarm area off the Thanet coast. Picture: Mark Stanford (10445515)

Windfarm staff alerted the emergency services and were first on the scene to help the man and locate him in the water before the lifeboat arrived.

RNLI Margate confirmed a support vessel working for the London Array windfarm was having difficulty communicating with the man on board the stricken yacht due to language problems.

Two lifeboat crew members were transferred to the sailing boat and the mast secured for the tow after cutting it free from the turbine before embarking on a "slow and uncomfortable journey" to Ramsgate.

Ian Lowe, Deputy Launching Authority, Margate Lifeboat said: “This was a long and tedious job for the volunteer lifeboat crew who assessed the yacht not to be adequately equipped for a sea passage. Our thanks go to the professionalism of the windfarm support vessel who quickly recovered the casualty from the water and transported him to medical care.

“We would recommend that any vessel putting to sea be properly equipped with lifesaving equipment ensuring it is fit for the intended passage including the competence of the crew. When undertaking a passage of any length consideration should be given to registering it using RYA SafetrX.”

The coastguard said the man had tangled with one of the turbines and entered the water. Margate lifeboat was called out to rescue a man in the water in the windfarm area off the Thanet coast. Picture: Mark Stanford (10445517)
The coastguard said the man had tangled with one of the turbines and entered the water. Margate lifeboat was called out to rescue a man in the water in the windfarm area off the Thanet coast. Picture: Mark Stanford (10445517)

A spokesman for HM Coastguard Margate said: "Reports had said that the vessel had managed to tie itself to a wind turbine and the man had some how entered the water.

"A windfarm vessel had located the sailor and was assisting with the job.

"Margate lifeboat towed the vessel back to Ramsgate harbour where the casualty was given warm food and drink."

They added UK Border Force were called to meet crews at Ramsgate when the casaulty landed.

The Home Office has been contacted to confirm Border Force involvement.

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