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  1. ITV Report

Seven rescued by RNLI after cargo ship sinks off Kent coast

A RNLI lifeboat (not pictured) was scrambled to assist the rescue Credit: PA

Seven people have been rescued by the RNLI after their ship began sinking off the Kent coast.

The crew put in a mayday call and boarded life rafts when their 90m cargo vessel started to submerge around 40 miles north east of Ramsgate.

Ramsgate RNLI received the call shortly before midnight on Friday and scrambled a boat to save the sailors.

Two ships close to the sinking vessel brought the crew on board from the life rafts, from where they were airlifted to hospital by search and rescue helicopters, Ramsgate Lifeboat said.

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An RNLI lifeboat retrieved the ship's Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon.

Steve Carson, UK Coastguard duty commander, said: "Following a mayday broadcast from the sinking vessel, we sent multiple assets to the scene to rescue the crew who abandoned ship.

"The weather on scene has been challenging but we are pleased to report that all the crew have been rescued and are on their way to hospital."

Throughout Friday, the east coast of England was braced for stormy conditions, with severe flood warnings issued in a number of places across Essex and Suffolk.