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West Mersea RNLI tasked to a casualty in a drifting life raft

Lifeboats News Release

On Saturday October 7 at 5.20pm West Mersea RNLI’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat Just George, launched on service to search for a casualty in a drifting life raft.

Looking for some solitude afloat, a gentleman from London bought a six-man life raft on Ebay. His plan was to take the train to the coast, walk to the beach, deploy his life raft and drift for two days for some “peace and quiet”.

Carrying a rucksack and his life raft he took the train to Southminster, then walked to Bradwell-on-Sea. After inflating his raft on the beach, thinking he could drift out with the tide and back in with the next, he cast himself off and out to sea.

Owing to the windy weather, the gentleman soon found himself drifting further and further offshore. He had a small anchor with him but this failed to hold. Realising he was in trouble, he used his mobile phone to call for help.

The lifeboat was sent to the rescue and the volunteer crew soon found the casualty drifting off the Dengie Peninsular. After taking him onboard and deflating his life raft the casualty was brought back to Bradwell marina, warmed up and handed over to the Coastguard team for some safety advice.

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For more information please contact Leafy Dumas, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on: 01206 386507 or 07761 303597. Or email:

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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.

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