Both Clacton RNLI lifeboats join search for three children
The volunteer crew of Clacton’s inshore D class lifeboat 'Damarkand IV' launched yesterday evening (August 31) just after 8pm following a report from UK Coastguard of three children cut off by the tide.
The alert followed reports that the children had been seen in difficulty swimming at the Martello Tower near the Bel Air campsite. Weather conditions were clear and calm, but with a receding tide there were fears the youngsters could be taken further out to sea.
The Damarkand IV was joined in the search by Coastguard patrols on shore, UK Coastguard helicopter Rescue 163 and then by Clacton’s relief Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat.
With failing light the volunteer crew of the Clacton D class lifeboat launched flares to light up the search area. They also used night sight equipment to help see in the dark.
The lifeboats covered an area from Jaywick to St Osyth, paying particular attention to the breakwaters to see if the children had climbed onto them. Nothing was found and both boats were stood down by UK Coastguard at 9.40pm and returned to the lifeboat station.
‘Even though on this occasion nothing was found we always take reports of this type seriously,’ said crew member Richard Wigley. ‘Around 190 people drown in the UK and Ireland each year and one of the major causes is being cut off by the tide’.
‘We’d always advise people to play close attention to local conditions and tide tables when visiting the coast,’ he added.
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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.