The RNLI said the teenager had no suitable clothing or safety equipment on board when he grounded the dinghy on mud flats in Queenborough Harbour
A teenage boy, who was stranded on mud flats at Queenborough Harbour on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, had to wait seven hours before he could set sail again.
The UK Coastguard called out the volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat after being alerted about the sailor’s plight.
The youth was stuck on the mud flats between Rushenden and the Coalwasher jetty, around 50 metres from the water’s edge and some 150 metres from the shore.
A spokesman for the Sheerness RNLI said it took some time to reach the teenager.
“A crew member from the ILB made slow progress across the mud to reach the casualty who was found to be ok but totally unprepared to be out on the water with no suitable clothing or any safety equipment on board his small craft,” he explained.
The boy informed the crew member that his mother was on another vessel close by.
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“Having returned to the ILB the crew member along with the other crew located the mother and after conversation with her and the UK Coastguard, suitable clothing and safety equipment plus food were taken back to the boy by the ILB crew who once again safely negotiated the mud bank,” continued the Sheerness RNLI spokesman.
“After further conversation with the UK Coastguard it was deemed too dangerous to try and extricate the boy who said he was happy to remain aboard his craft even though it would mean a wait of some seven hours before there was enough water to refloat his dinghy,” he added.
The UK Coastguard then requested that the mother take responsibility of the situation, which she was happy to do, and the Sheerness RNLI crew then returned to station.
“The UK Coastguard made regular welfare checks with the boy and later that evening confirmed that the dinghy had successfully refloated and the boy was none the worse but definitely a lot wiser for his escapade and had returned to the family’s boat,” said the Sheerness RNLI spokesman.
The incident at Queenborough happened on Saturday afternoon (19 August).