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Aldeburgh RNLI lifeboat called to evacuate crew member from research vessel

Lifeboats News Release

Aldeburgh's All-Weather Lifeboat, ‘Freddie Cooper’, was launched yesterday (4 September) to evacuate a crew member from a research vessel, which was at sea east of Aldeburgh..

Library image of Aldeburgh lifeboat, 'Freddie Cooper'


Library image of Aldeburgh lifeboat, 'Freddie Cooper'

The UK Coastguard requested the lifeboat launch at 4.47pm after the crew of the Belgian vessel contacted them to say one of the crew had learned of a death in the family.

Once on scene, the volunteer crew of the Freddie Cooper assisted the casualty to transfer to the lifeboat. The casualty then returned to Aldeburgh on the lifeboat.

James Cable, Mechanic at Aldeburgh RNLI Lifeboat Station, said: 'At the RNLI we get called to all manner of incidents and emergencies - sometimes people are at immediate risk of physical injury, other times they need assistance for another reason, for example, on compassionate grounds. This was the latter.

'On learning of a death in his family, the man needed to return to Belgium urgently. Because it would have been very complicated for the research vessel to return him, we were ask to laucnh to get him to shore.'

James said once the lifeboat returned him to dry land, a volunteer crew member kindly drove him to Ipswich where he took a train to Kent, with the intention of travelling back home via the Eurotunnel.

'We were more than happy to help in this situation. As a charity we naturally extend that charitable approach to others. We hope the man in question got home and is supporting his family.'

At the time of the launch, the sea state was slight with the wind southerly at 14 knots. Aldeburgh lifeboat returned to station at 5.25pm.

RNLI media contacts

  • Caron Hill, Aldeburgh RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, 07837 263210, email
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East), 0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 /
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East), 0207 6207416 / 07786668825/
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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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.

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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