Thirty four teenagers and two adults were rescued last night and taken to safety after getting lost during a coastal walk at St Margaret’s Bay, near Dover.
The coastguard received a request for assistance from the Kent Police at 9.00pm after the group contacted them to say they were lost somewhere between St Margaret’s Bay and Dover Harbour after getting disorientated on a coastal walk.
The UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Lydd, Dover RNLI lifeboat, two Walmer RNLI lifeboats, Langdon Coastguard Rescue Team and the Ambulance service were sent to the area.
The group was located and brought to safety by the lifeboats and the helicopter.
UK Coastguard Senior Maritime Operations Officer Richard Cockerill said: 'When we received the call, Dover lifeboat, two lifeboats from Walmer, the Coastguard rescue helicopter and Langdon Coastguard Rescue Team were tasked to locate the school party from London. The group was advised to switch on their mobile phone lights to help us locate them. The group was located by one of the Walmer lifeboats in an area of active cliff falls and also spotted by the helicopter using the forward looking infra red camera.
All thirty six people were recovered to safety by lifeboat and helicopter.' Alex Brown, Winch Operator for the UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Lydd said: ‘The FLIR camera was working fantastically so we were able to locate the group quickly. The majority were rescued by lifeboat however, we did land on some rocks to rescue five people and brought them back to Dover Coastguard station.'
The Coxswain of Dover RNLI, Mark Finnis, said: 'The group were caught out by a rising tide. Thankfully the quick and well co-ordinated search and rescue response meant all thirty six casualties were rescued and were lucky to escape without serious injuries, but they've had a traumatic experience.'
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They had an inflatable boat, and a mobile phone - but no map, lifejackets. nor any safety equipment.
Lifeboat crews said two Iranian men who were paddling a dinghy from France to Kent were lucky to be alive.
Derek Johnson reports from Dover.
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Network Rail have revealed that the railway line between Dover and Folkestone which was damaged when a sea wall collapsed, will not be fully repaired until the end of the year.
The line was breached near Dover at Christmas time and it was known that the work would take some time, but today's announcement is the first confirmation that works are not expected to be complete until December. It means many more months of disruption for commuters who use rail routes in the area.
ITV Meridian correspondent Derek Johnson filed this report back in February when questions about the issue were raised.
A large-scale policing operation to facilitate a protest by various groups in Dover has ended successfully according to Kent Police..
There was a large police presence on the streets of Dover this afternoon and officers used temporary powers to stop and search people and vehicles for offensive weapons and dangerous instruments.
One man was arrested on suspicion of possession of offensive weapons. Three men who arrived in Dover were arrested in connection with the protest that was held in Dover on 30 January.
Protesters started to arrive during the morning with a large group assembled by the roundabout at the bottom of Jubilee Way. A march left Dover Priory Station shortly after 1.00pm. Some roads were closed for the safety of both motorists and protesters while the march made its way towards Dover’s eastern docks.
The procession was delayed while protesters from an opposing group failed to comply with a condition to assemble in a designated area near Marine Parade and eight protesters were arrested.
A man was also arrested on suspicion of the theft of a police baseball cap.
“Kent Police planned for a proportionate policing operation that was impartial, firm and fair, and all the objectives we set, were met successfully.
“As I made clear in the run up to the events today, the right to protest inevitably causes disruption to the community. That is largely unavoidable – we do all we can to minimise that disruption.
“I fully appreciate the frustration caused when a road is closed. This decision is not made lightly and only after consulting with Highways England and Kent County Council. It was necessary, to allow us to facilitate the protest and ensure the safety of both motorists and protesters.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their patience and co-operation.”
Twelve people have been arrested during an anti-immigration march in Dover.
But there was no repeat of the violent scenes from the previous demonstration earlier this year.
A large police presence kept both sides apart as Derek Johnson reports.
It's been discussed for 10 years. But now plans to create a striking national war memorial on Dover's white cliffs are set to become a reality.
The government has pledged half a million pounds to kickstart construction of a series of white granite walls bearing the names of the 1.7 million British and Commonwealth service personnel and civilians, killed in two World Wars. John Ryall reports
A Commonwealth flag will be raised at Dover on Monday to mark Commonwealth Day. It's part of a ceremony, now in its third year, involving more that 850 locations.