5 days to Ramsgate . . . remembering the Goodwins

It’s just 5 days now till the reading I have been most looking forward to for the last year, when I return to Ramsgate in Kent to read and thank the RNLI Lifeboat crew for their efforts on our behalf when the Radio Caroline ship Ross Revenge ran aground on the Goodwin Sands almost 19 years ago.

Below is a clip from TVS (the former ITV station of the area) news on the day of the grounding on the Goodwin Sands, 20th November 1991. By the time the film crew flew out to shoot the footage, the ship, although still aground, was upright again, as it was high tide.

My book, Shiprocked – Life On The Waves With Radio Caroline tells many stories of my time at sea with the station, but it is the final chapter, with the shipwreck which always drawns the most comments, and the most rapt attention, at public readings. Whenever I read from this, I always talk about how, although it was a helicopter which eventually rescued us, the dedicated crew of the Ramsgate Lifeboat stood by us for three hours, and braved treacherous seas on the Goodwins to try to come alongside in a rescue attempt.

I’m therefore really pleased that this time, I will be reading in Ramsgate itself, and the local RNLI crew, including at least one of those who was on board that morning in 1991, will be there to receive my thanks.

The event takes place this Saturday, 27th March, at 3pm in Ramsgate Library.

Admission is free, and all donations to the RNLI are welcomed.  I’ll be donating my royalties from any books sold at the event to the RNLI of course.

Sadly the RAF base at Manston, where the TV footage was shot, and from where the rescue helicopter came, is now long since closed, although a museum remains on the site.

The lifeboat though continues, and I hope that this reading will be able to contribute something useful to them by way of publicity and funds.

Steve



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