RNLI crews from Whitstable and Sheerness were called around 9.50am on 30 March to assist the Tempest crew transfer vessel (CTV), which had struck an unknown underwater object and was taking in water at the Kentish Flats offshore wind farm area.
There were 6 people on board the crew transfer vessel.
While Tempest was still impaled on a submerged object, Whitstable lifeboat arrived and transferred two crew members and a salvage pump onboard Tempest, followed by the same action done by the Sheerness lifeboat. Four wind farm technicians were transferred to another wind farm vessel that had also been standing by.
After the water had been pumped out, both lifeboats with their crews waited to see if the vessel would come free. Once free, it did not appear that the water ingress was getting any worse so, with the damaged compartment sealed, the skipper got the vessel underway and at slow speed made for Whitstable with both lifeboats escorting it.
“By 11.50am the Tempest had floated clear of the underwater object and the crews were able to assess the damage and the vessel then made its own way to Whitstable Harbour escorted by both lifeboats and was eventually secured alongside the west quay,” said Whitstable Lifeboat helmsman Dave Parry.