Services during 2009

The list below gives brief details of all 64 service calls for 2009. This was a record year for the lifeboat with 64 call outs.



The Lifeboat was requested to carry out a search for a person believed at risk between Langdon and St Margarets Bay. Other units including Kent Police, Rescue 125, Coastguard Rescue Teams and Kent Lowland Search and Rescue volunteers. The person was eventually found away from the coast and handed over to the care of ambulance personnel.



The Lifeboat crew responded to a request for assistance with recovering a body from Fan Bay.



Launching to reports of persons in the water in the Folkestone Warren, the lifeboat sped to the scene. A pushchair along with the two children had fallen into the sea from one of the aprons. When the lifeboat arrived, Folkestone Coastguard Rescue Team were already present as were Ambulance paramedics. Four casualties were transported to hospital (one by Kent Air Ambulance). Sadly one of the children later died in hospital.



The owners of a small angling boat called for assistance when they suffered engine failure. They were towed to Dover and helped back to their berth in the tidal basin.



The Lifeboat launched to the assistance of a fishing catamaran which was suffering steering problems and drifting towards busy shipping lanes. After towing the vessel a short distance into safer waters the casualty vessel was taken in tow by another fishing boat and the lifeboat was released.



Reports from a ferry of a UFO (unidentified floating object) which was thought to be a semi submerged life raft had the lifeboat heading out to south west of the Goodwin Sands. A successful search found the object which when examined turned out to be a large silver party balloon.



The Lifeboat was requested, by Dover MRCC, to go to the aid of a 27' yacht which was experiencing engine problems. In calm winds the yacht was having difficlty making way. The lifeboat quickly reached the vessel which was about six miles from Dover and towed it into the Marina.



The Lifeboat crew responded to a request to help recover a body from the Langdon Bay area. This was achieved using the Y boat, whilst local Coastguard units endeavoured to keep onlookers back from the cliff edges above. On arrival back at Station, the lifeboat was met by Kent Police officers and the Coroner's Officer.



The Lifeboat launched to assist in the search for a person who was believed missing in the Langdon Bay area. The Lifeboat crew using the inflatable Y boat carried out a comprehensive search of the shoreline between Langdon Bay and South Foreland. The Langdon Coastguard team searched the cliff edges above. After some time of searching, nothing was found and all search assets were stood down by the Coastguard.



The Lifeboat went to the aid of a 30' yacht with a suspected engine fire to the east of the Goodwin Sands. It was towed into Dover and met by Kent Fire and Rescue personnel.



A Sunday evening shout to three walkers who had become stranded in Fan Bay, halfway between St Margarets Bay and Dover. They wisely decided to call for assistance and the lifeboat launched to go to their aid. The three ladies were taken off the shoreline using the Y boat and then transferred to the lifeboat and brought back to the Station.



A yacht with three people on board became trapped, off St Margarets, when it's propellor became entangled in a rope which was anchored to the seabed. Using the Y boat and a boathook the rope was pulled to a position where the rope could be cut and the yacht towed into Dover.



The lifeboat was called just before 5am to a large 67m crane barge which was taking on water and sinking. After checking that there was no one was on the barge, the lifeboat then escorted the tug that was towing the barge to Walmer, where the decision was made by the authorities to run the barge aground for repairs.



The lifeboat rushed to Sandgate, nr Folkestone in gale force winds after the Coastguard received multiple 999 calls. The reports were of a small inflatable dinghy, with three persons in it, struggling in the strong offshore winds. The Anglian Monarch and Folkestone Coastguard Rescue Team also proceeded and on their arrival found the three had just made it to shore. The Lifeboat was stood down and the three teenagers were taken assessed by ambulance crews.



A 24' yacht called for assistance when it encountered difficulties in gale force winds whilst sailing off St Margarets. The single-handed yacht was heading to Ramsgate but was ultimately escorted into Dover Marina.



A yacht which ran aground on the Goodwin Sands was responded to by both the Dover and Walmer lifeboats. Arriving first, Walmer's Atlantic 85 managed to tow the craft off the sands and then handed over the tow to the Dover lifeboat. The yacht which had sustained damage was then towed to Ramsgate.



Returning from a multi-national training exercise with the Calais and Boulogne lifeboats, Dover Lifeboat was diverted to investigate reports of a small dinghy just off the French coast. Whilst still en route, the lifeboat was stood down by the French Coastguard.



The lifeboat was called out to a small 8m yacht being sailed single-handedly from Ramsgate to Brighton by its German owner. Struggling in strong winds the skipper decided to make for Dover but with only a very small engine would not be able to enter port safely. The lifeboat launched and after transferring a crew member to assist on the yacht, took it under tow into Dover Marina.



Launching at 0530hrs the initial reports from Dover MRCC were of a man fallen from cliffs in the Folkestone Warren area. Due to the area needing searching Coastguard Rescue Teams from Folkestone, Langdon and Deal were also attending. Whilst the lifeboat was proceeding to the scene it became clear that the man had not fallen from the cliff but had fallen over. The man was quickly found and two crew members went ashore using the Y boat to assist with first aid. The man was then transported to William Harvey hospital by ambulance.



The 20th service call of the year saw the lifeboat head out to take over towing a broken down fishing boat. The small 8m angling craft had suffered engine failure and was first attended to by the Boulogne SNSM lifeboat which then handed it over to the Dover lifeboat. The vessel was brought into Dover.



Alerted by an angler who was fishing at Samphire Hoe, the Dover MRCC requested the lifeboat to go to the aid of two people who had been caught out by the high tide between Samphire Hoe and Shakespeare Cliff. Using the Y boat the two uninjured but wet individuals were recovered to the Lifeboat and brought back to Dover.



Reports of a capsized canoeist trapped in his canoe off Hythe lead to both the Dover and Littlestone Lifeboats being launched. One of the MoD Range Safety boats also proceeded and arrived first. As the rescue assets began to arrive it became clear that the canoe was empty and it's owner was on the beach nearby having made his own way ashore.



The Lifeboat was en route to Walmer Lifeboat's Open Day when it was diverted to a capsized Kayaker in Fan Bay. The well equipped kayaker had been fishing when he capsized and then used flares to alert others to his predicament. He was taken ashore to St Margarets Bay.



The Lifeboat was just leaving the harbour on exercise when it was requested to attend to a broken down yacht which was drifting in the ferry approach lanes. The lifeboat was quickly on scene and the yacht towed clear. It was then brought into the Marina.



An unlucky trio of sailors bound for London suffered a dismasting in the area of the Varne Bank. The Lifeboat attended and towed the vessel into Dover Marina. The mast and yacht's tender which had been lost during the dismasting were later picked up by the Coastguard Tug Anglian Monarch.



Both the Dover and Littlestone lifeboats were launched to reports from Kent Police of a small inflatable dinghy that had disappeared from view off the Imperial Hotel at Hythe. As Dover Lifeboat made best speed in the very poor visibility, Littlestone arrived first and located a group of people on the beach matching the descriptions given to Dover Coastguard. Whilst Dover Lifeboat and Folkestone Coastguard Rescue Team continued to the area, it was confirmed that the group were the ones seen earlier and all units were stood down



An early Saturday morning call for the crew saw them leave their beds at 0340hrs and head out towards the East Goodwin Buoy to rescue a Dutch yacht. The 9m vessel with two crew aboard was becalmed, had propulsion problems and was drifting towards the shipping lanes. The lifeboat quickly reached the yacht and towed it into Dover where it was moored in the Marina for repairs.



A single-handed sailor sailing his newly purchased yacht from Newhaven to Ramsgate got into difficulties off Folkestone. The lifeboat located him approximately two miles south east of Folkestone Harbour. After using the Y boat to transfer a crew member to assist the skipper, the yacht was towed into Dover Marina.



The third shout in three days was to assist Kent Police and HM Coastguard in recovering a person from the shoreline below Copt Point, Folkestone.



A broken down boat off Folkestone resulted in the thirtieth shout of the year for Dover Lifeboat. The Folkestone based boat was towed into the shelter of Folkestone Harbour and then the Y boat was used to take the boat back to its berth in Folkestone.



After a yacht was seen off Samphire Hoe by members of the public from shore and thought to be in difficulties, the lifeboat was requested by Dover Coastguard. As the Lifeboat left the harbour it found the yacht was just about to enter the shelter of the port. The lifeboat was immediately retasked to the next incident.



Already at sea the lifeboat headed out towards the Goodwin Sands to tow in a yacht. The three crew on the yacht were approaching exhaustion after having battled gales for several days. After the tricky task of passing a tow in the rough seas, the casualty vessel was towed in to Dover Marina.



The Lifeboat was launched to the aid of two Zapcats that were on passage to Brighton. One of the craft had capsized and the driver had transferred to the other craft. After providing a lee for the DHB Launch to escort the craft into the Harbour, the lifeboat crew towed in the capsized craft to prevent it becoming a danger to other shipping.



An 8m Dover based angling boat suffered steering problems whilst approximately four miles off Dover. The Lifeboat proceeded to the casualty vessel and as the skipper had regained control escorted the craft into Dover.



During a large firework display to celebrate the centenary of Louis Bleriot's first cross channel flight, the lifeboat crew were called out to a broken down vessel. The vessel was 32m long and an ex Royal Navy inshore minesweeper. The casualty vessel was on passage from Essex to Ireland and suffering from malfunctions to both engines. She was towed into Dover and moored up for repairs.



Reports of a capsized 'Hobie cat' catamaran off Folkestone lead to Dover Coastguard requesting the lifeboat. When the Lifeboat arrived the two sailors had already been rescued by another vessel but the crew helped right the vessel and ensured the vessel was safely moored.



The Lifeboat crew were called at 1600hrs to reports of six people cut off by the tide in the Langdon Bay area. Using the Y boat, a crew member was put ashore to communicate with the group. Eventually a Coastguard team lowered a Rescue Officer to the group. With the swell too great to lower them, to the waiting Y boat, it was decided to call in a helicopter. Whilst waiting a set of RNLI helmets were sent up to the group to protect them from falling debris. A Belgian Air Force Sea King arrived and lifted the group one at a time to the helicopter and then dropped them off at the Dover MRCC.



An evening call to the same Hobie Cat from 26th July, with the same problem. This time the warship HMS Tyne rescued the three people on board and then handed them over to Dover Lifeboat, whilst two lifeboat crew members sailed the catamaran to Dover.



A dive boat with steering failure near the Goodwin Sands needed assistance from the Lifeboat. Once located the casualty craft with two people on board was towed into Dover.



The fortieth shout of the year was an early Sunday morning call to assist Kent Police and the Coroner's Officer in the recovery of a body from St Margarets Bay.



A 10m yacht with three people onboard got into difficulties are becoming entangled in a discarded rope. The thick rope became wrapped around the vessel's propellor and rudder and left her drifting near the MPC buoy. She was towed into Dover where the sailors were able to gently work and pull the rope loose.



The fourth shout in four days was to a 49' yacht on passage from Massachusetts to the Netherlands. She suffered engine failure whilst in the Channel and her skipper wisely decided not to attempt passing through the area without being able to use his engine in an emergency so called for assistance. A lifeboat crew member was placed aboard and the casualty vessel towed to Dover.



A broken down motorboat very near the entrance to Folkestone Harbour was brought back to Dover by the Lifeboat on a very hot sunny afternoon.



The lifeboat diverted from the Regatta's 'Parade of Sail' to escort in a diving charter boat with a casualty onboard. Once the charter boat was alongside, the injured diver was attended to by Paramedics and then flown by Belgian Air Force helicopter to a specialised treatment facility in London.



Whilst on exercise the lifeboat was diverted to an incident in the Warren. A small speedboat had been seen by members of the public to be aground on the beach. The lifeboat proceeded to the area and using the Y boat two crew went ashore to investigate. The craft had been deliberately grounded and the owner was happy to refloat it himself but the lifeboat brought two of his passengers back to Dover.



The Lifeboat and crew assisted Kent Police and the Coroner's Officer in the recovery of human remains from the shoreline to the east of Dover Harbour.



The Lifeboat, under the command of Second Coxswain Mo Parkin, went out to a 97m gravel dredger reporting a sick crew member aboard. The sick man was taken off the dredger and brought rapidly back into Dover where the lifeboat was met by ambulance personnel.



A false alarm with good intent. Persons thought to be in difficulty between Dover and St Margarets.



The Lifeboat was stood down soon after launching as other agencies were already dealing with the incident. A woman believed under the influence of alcohol had been pulled from the sea.



The fiftieth call of the year for the lifeboat. Just after completing a training exercise with a RAF helicopter, a call came to assist paramedics at Folkestone in rescuing a man who had fallen on rocks and injured his knee. Two crew went ashore using the Y boat and assisted in carrying the man to safety.



Second call of the day was to a lost Jet Skier. The lifeboat was stood down immediately after launching when the jet skier was located on a beach by the Coastguard aircraft.



A 1940s Danish fishing boat had just left Dover when it reported that it was sinking. The lifeboat headed out and quickly reached the casualty vessel. The vessel was taking on water due to a sprung plank and with six hours pumping it was kept afloat in the Outer Harbour until there was enough water to ground it on the Dolphin Hard near the Marina.



The crew were paged after Dover Coastguard received reports of a swimmer in difficulties at Hythe. As the crew made their ways to the lifeboat station it was reported that the person had been recovered to the shore and so the launch was cancelled by the Coastguards at the MRCC.



Another stand down as the crew mustered. Dover Coastguard had received reports of a vessel firing red flares off Folketone. Before the Lifeboat launched another vessel arrived on scene and took the vessel in tow.



A broken water pump aboard a small fishing boat left it unable to proceed properly. The lifeboat located the casualty just off Folkestone and towed it to the entrance of Folkestone Harbour. The casualty vessel was then able to motor the short distance into Folkestone Harbour and moor safely.



The Lifeboat launched to two missing RIBs. The RIBs with a total of nine people aboard were returning from Boulogne when they got into difficulties. One was found quickly a short distance south of the harbour and was able to proceed on its own into the harbour where they were were met by Coastguards and the Station's shore crew. Once the RIB had been recovered the people on board were taken to the Lifeboat Station to warm up. The second RIB was located in the North East shipping lane on the French side of the Channel by a Coastguard aircraft. Once the lifeboat reached them, the two people aboard were taken aboard the all weather lifeboat and two lifeboat crew brought the craft into Dover.



Reports of a yacht in difficulties off St Margarets saw the Lifeboat heading to the scene. On arrival, the casualty was found to be a partially dismasted foreign flagged yacht that had been seen leaving Dover earlier in the day. The occupants refused all assistance and the lifeboat crew reluctantly returned to Station.



Launched again after dark to the same yacht as previously. The drifting craft which was being shadowed by the Coastguard Tug Anglian Monarch exhibited no signs of life and to ensure the safety of those onboard it was boarded by two crew members. This time an offer of assistance was accepted and the craft towed into Dover.



The sixtieth call out of the year was an early morning call to a cross channel swim escort boat. The vessel's engine was overheating and there were concerns over the risk of a fire onboard. The lifeboat took the vessel in tow and brought it into Dover Marina.



Reports of a sea mine in the South west lane saw the lifeboat heading out to search for the suspicious object. The Coastguard were concerned that if it were a mine and was struck by a cargo ship the results could be disastrous. Once in the area, a black spherical object was located and found to be a 'WaveRider' buoy used for scientific studies of tides and waves. To prevent any ship being damaged by striking it, the lifeboat crew recovered it back to Dover.



As the lifeboat crew arrived at the Station the request to launch was cancelled. The incident involving a missing person had been resolved.



Reports of an upturned boat in the South-west lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme saw the lifeboat rushing to the area. Arriving at the position an object was located which was then identified as a weather balloon.



A small angling boat on passage to the Netherlands broke down in the North east shipping lane. The Lifeboat left Dover and headed out the 12 miles to the casualty vessel and towed it into Dover Marina.

Recent callouts:


A missing diver was recovered from the Channel in a joint rescue with Walmer Lifeboat.


Recovery of a person from Langdon/Crab Bay area. Assisted by Walmer Inshore Lifeboat.


Recovery of human remains on behalf of Kent Police and the Coroner.


Person cut off by the tide at Langdon Bay, further investigation using the Y Boat, False Alarm good intent


A person fallen from cliffs was assisted by the lifeboat crew as well as Kent Air Ambulance, a RAF Helicopter and HM Coastguard.

Dover - Weather

  • 20 Mar 2012

    Mostly Cloudy 11°C 5°C

  • 21 Mar 2012

    Partly Cloudy 12°C 6°C



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