Wells RNLI lifeboat volunteers go to the aid of tug and two barges

Lifeboats News Release

On Sunday 18 September the all-weather lifeboat went to the aid of a tug which developed steering problems towing two barges off Wells on a passage from the Humber.

RNLI/John Mitchell

Tug Speedwell and two barges under tow from Wells Lifeboat

The tug Speedwell was towing the barges - one 23m and the other 30m long - south when she developed steering problems approximately five miles offshore from Wells near the Blakeney Overfalls.

Wells RNLI lifeboat was paged at 4.33pm - and launched shortly afterwards. The lifeboat took the vessels in tow and looked at the possibility of taking them into Holkham Bay but there was no shelter there as the wind was gusting north-north westerly Force 4/5.

Instead, the decision was taken to tow her along the coast to the east of Cromer where the seas became calmer and more sheltered in the lee of the land. After carrying out temporary repairs the crew were able to continue their passage, under their own power, south towards the Thames Estuary.

Wells lifeboat then returned to station and made a low water recovery in Holkham Bay at 10:30pm. The lifeboat was ready for service again at 11:30pm.

RNLI media contacts

  • John Mitchell, Wells RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, 07831 103166
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 tim_ash@rnli.org.uk
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207416, 07786 668825, paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk
  • 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, in a normal year, 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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