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Withernsea RNLI search in the dark for person in water in multi-agency operation

Lifeboats News Release

On Tuesday 3 January the volunteer crew at Withernsea were paged at 9:31pm by the UK Coastguard to search for a person that had been seen walking into a rough sea.

Withernsea RNLI search for person reported in water

Andy Medcalf

Withernsea RNLI search for person reported in water

D-Class lifeboat Henley Eight was launched at 9:41pm with three crew on board, into challenging conditions. Along with the lifeboat, Coastguard rescue helicopter 912 was also asked to assist with the search, with the local Coastguard Rescue Team also in attendance who searched the shoreline with the remaining Withernsea lifeboat crew.

After searching for 45 minutes in heavy surf and poor conditions, the Withernsea RNLI volunteer crew were stood down when the casualty was found safe at a nearby address.

Volunteer Helmsman Tim Beckett said: ‘We’re all very relieved the person we were looking for was found safe and well after going into the sea. Conditions were so poor we needed to fire two flares to light up the sky so we could launch safely, we had to rely on all our training to get the boat safely to sea and conduct the search as best we could in horrible conditions.’

Launch Authority Rob Dawson added: ‘We train twice a week for every possible scenario, and tonight showed that all that hard work and dedication our volunteers have put in has paid off. It took a big team effort to get the boat to sea in bad conditions and get it home safely.’

RNLI Picture caption

The photo shows the lifeboat being recovered after last night’s launch. Courtesy of Andy Medcalf.

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Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland