It has been estimated that nearly £40,000 is the cost for a major search was undertaken last Tuesday night (20 June) when a man was reported missing from the New Beach holiday park in Dymchurch.
Littlestone Lifeboat was launched to join in with the search which also involved the Lydd based air sea rescue helicopter and also volunteers from Dungeness and Folkestone Coastguards.
Some people have questioned the cost of looking for, what was in effect just a man going for a wonder. However, a spokesperson for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, said to The Looker: “The alarm was raised with good intent, with reports of a man being seen in danger, this is part of what we do. We are ready to launch 24 hours per day, 360 days of the year. The institutions mission statement is that we save lives at sea, for us the cost of running the boats and givichopper-and-boat-PTng the crew the best equipment and training is secondary to that. And at the time of launch no one knew what we could be going to.”
The RNLI is mainly made up of unpaid volunteers, who along with the Coastguard worked closely with the Lydd based Bristow’s team in the two hour search.
The search was called off when a man was spotted walking along the shoreline in the middle of the ranges at Hythe; police were called to escort the gentleman off the ranges.
Charlie Davis, the Littlestone Lifeboat Operations Manager told The Looker: “We launched our boat to help with the search for what was reported as a missing surfer, whose board had been reportedly found near the New Beach holiday park. We were eventually stood down just after 11.00pm and returned back to our station, we then refuelled and washed down the boat so that we were ready for service before midnight.”