Lowestoft RNLI lifeboat recovers two capsized dinghies
The volunteer crew of Lowestoft RNLI lifeboat was called out just before 3pm on Saturday (14 May) following reports of two capsized dinghies in trouble off the town’s South Beach.
The Topper class dinghies were taking part in racing off the coast of Lowestoft when three capsized and although the crew of each craft was soon rescued by the escorting safety boat their upturned vessels drifted out to sea.
Lowestoft Lifeboat John Fox said “we were tasked by Humber Coastguards to check out two capsized dinghies following 999 calls from concerned members of the public who could see the incident from the shore.”
“We met up with the safety boat, which was close to the Claremont Pier with one of the upturned dinghies and they said that they believed that no one was now in the water. They were concerned about the other two dinghies that had drifted out to sea in the fresh breeze with the North–westerly wind gusting to 28 knots - they asked the lifeboat to try to recover them.”
Mr. Fox added “as there was some confusion if all the sailors were safe I contacted the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club (RNSYC) and they confirmed that everyone had been accounted for. So we set off to search for the drifting dinghies to prevent any further 999 calls from people on the shore.
We located one of them some distance to the South about one mile off shore at Kessingland. It was on its side and it took four of us to manhandle it onto the stern of the lifeboat.
We then returned to the other dinghy, which was close to the edge of the Newcome Sands and was upside down. The crew managed to right it and discovered that the mast had snapped. A tow line was soon attached and we towed it through the choppy sea back to the harbour were it was handed over to the safety boat, then we took the other one back to the RNSYC.”
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.