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RNLI RESCUE 80 SWIMMERS

Tuesday August 30th, 2011
RNLI RESCUE 80 SWIMMERS

Around 80 swimmers were swept out to sea during a charity race round Joss Bay in Broadstairs, Kent and had to be rescued by the RNLI. The rescue mission took about two hours.

Coastguard watch manager Gordon Wise said, 'It could have potentially been a very serious event, a very serious problem... When we got down there we found that there was a number of swimmers that had gone out, I understand the numbers are in the high upper tens... In the end through a search between two inshore lifeboats, rescue boats, and some paddle boarders which were part of the event, all people were brought ashore and accounted for.

Swimmer Mike Jennings said, I didn't realise the seriousness of it until I got back to shore... There are some bad tides that run along there, rip tiding. Especially at the moment we are coming up to some of the highest tides of the year... Just un-swimmable... I managed to struggle round two laps. The latter part of the second lap I did, it took me 10 minutes to swim 50 yards to get past the marker buoy... After that I felt the current pushing me rapidly back up the Thames. So I headed for the lighthouse on top of the cliffs there... I don't suppose anybody out there has got more experience than me and I literally swam for that lighthouse and just about made it back to where we started... Other people behind me were being swept up the Thames.'
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