Whilst taking my gran up river for the first time in years on a darkish evening in April this year, and after telling her that small boats don't normally sink to set her mind at ease, we stumbled across 6 large guys with rucksacks on a 2 man dinghy with tiny outboard.
As we passed their main sailing boat, before loosing sight of them since they were behind it, the transom looked very low down, and sure enough, as we came round the other side, the boat had already sunk and turned over.
In the wonderfully strong current we managed to get them on board, but that took two of us since they all seemed to have had a bit to drink
Since they had rucksacks on, wellies, and no lifejackets, it was important to get them out of the water pretty quickly - we couldn't see an easy way for this other than to grab onto one arm each and just haul them over the tubes into the rib.
I don't think a ladder would have worked in this case, but I dare say something like on Wavelength's website may have worked but might have taken a bit of time to carry out for 6 people, especially in a strong incoming current.
That rescue job reduced our time available at the Pub which is only accessible by river a few times a year too
I agree with you there Richard that deflating the tubes may not be such a good idea - despite it being calm, we managed to get a good amount of water into the boat from the soaking people. It took a while for the bilge pump to clear the water since I couldn't drop the trunk as we aren't allowed to plane up river. I don't think I'd have been happy to take on more water than absolutely required