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Emergency Mayday beacon alert prompts Cromer RNLI lifeboat launch

Lifeboats News Release

The UK Coastguard alerted Cromer’s all weather lifeboat crew just before midday on Tuesday 8 August that a beacon sounding a Mayday distress signal had been picked up.

The launch of Cromer's Lifeboat 'Lester'

RNLI/paul Russell

RNLI Cromer all weather lifeboat

The all-weather lifeboat launched at 11.50am - the sounding of a Mayday call always results in the RNLI sending a lifeboat to investigate the circumstances, as it usually means there is an imminent risk of loss of life.

The coordinates of the beacon appeared to come from the Happisburgh Sands, a notorious area for shipwrecks in the past.

Once on scene, the beacon was found to be one that had been abandoned for some time and there was no reason for it to have triggered the alarm.

Richard Leeds, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Crom,er RNLI Lifeboat Station, said: ‘The RNLI will always launch to an emergency beacon sounding, whatever the circumstances and outcome. We are always ready to assist those who need help. Thankfully, on this occasion, there was no emergency and no-one at risk.'

By 1pm, Cromer RNLI lifeboat had returned to the boathouse, been rehoused and made ready for her next launch.

RNLI media contacts

  • Audrey Smith, Cromer RNLI Volunteer Press Officer 07773 097094/ audrey_smith@rnli.org.uk
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) 0207 6207425/ 07785 296252/ tim_ash@rnli.org.uk
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) 0207 6207416 - 07786 668825
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789


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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.

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