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Drifting Dinghy sparks major search on River Thames

A small red boat which was drifting in the River Thames estuary, sparked a search and rescue response earlier today by HM Coastguard. The boat was reported just before 6pm by someone on the shore.

A subsequent sighting was reported by a passing commercial vessel. No distress call was received in that area but a full search was carried out by both Sheerness RNLI lifeboats, along with Medway, Sheppey, Southend and Canvey Island Coastguard Rescue teams.

Piers Stanbury, duty controller with HM Coastguard said: ‘Although we didn’t receive any distress calls from anyone in that area, we still carried out an extensive search of the area to make sure. Reports received could not confirm if anyone was on board. If anyone knows where that boat might have come from or can give us any further information, please call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

The search for the red boat, which was described as being dinghy-sized, has been stood down, pending further information.