Skipper found alive after surviving night on Thames Estuary fort

One fisherman died and another was rescued from the middle of the Thames Estuary this weekend.
The body of fisherman was pulled out of the water Saturday night after an unlit fishing boat was seen drifting in the Princess Channel. A second crewmember, believed to be the skipper, was rescued from a fort in the middle of the Thames Estuary the following day.

A passing ship noticed the unlit spotting boat Lisa K  drifting out at sea and alerted the coastguard. When the Whitstable RNLI lifeboat reached the vessel, there was no one on board.

The lifeboat crew launched a search and recovered the body of a fisherman, wearing a buoyancy aid, from the Princess Channel approximately 6.5m north of Herne Bay. Dave Perry, Whitstable lifeboat helmsman, said the team tried to resuscitate the man but they weren’t successful.

Lifeboats from Sheerness and Margate joined the crew from Whitstable and a helicopter from RAF Wattisham in a mutli-agency search after receiving reports that the boat left Ramsgate with another man on board. The extensive search was terminated when no one could be found.

The missing crewmember was rescued the following morning when a passing fishing boat spotted him calling for help on the Red Sands Towers in the Thames Estuary. He was airlifted to hospital and assessed for hypothermia.

The man, who is believed to be the skipper of Lisa K, said they had been on one of the Red Sands Towers. He said the fisherman had gone into the water after she began drifting away from the platform.

Photo by phault.