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Clacton RNLI Lifeboats launch to assist search for missing person

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew of Clacton’s inshore lifeboats launched at 3am on Tuesday (19 September), to assist an ongoing search by UK Coastguard mobile units for a missing person.

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Arriving on scene, the crew of Damarkand IV, Clacton’s D Class inshore lifeboat, discovered the search had been in progress for an hour and the person was believed to have entered the water about 1am.

With fears that the person could have been swept out to sea, along with the danger of hyperthermia since the person may have been in the water for two hours, the helm of the inshore lifeboat requested the launch of Clacton’s 85 inshore lifeboat, Norma Ethal Vinell, to assist. Concerns were compounded as the sea had been going out since midnight, which would produce a much larger search area.

Working together the lifeboats comprehensively searched an area from just east of the pier to Cliff Road (approximately two miles to the east), and 150metres off the shoreline.

Due to its shallow hull, the D Class concentrated on the rock breakwaters close in to the shore - just one the reasons why there has been a D Class stationed at Clacton since 1966 and why it is responsible for approximately a third of rescues carried out by the RNLI and their volunteer crews.

The Atlantic 85 covered the larger open area in deeper water by zigzagging along a set course which allowed it to comprehensively search a large area quickly.

On reaching Cliff Road the D Class was stood down, followed shortly by the Atlantic 85 at the request of UK Coastguard, happy that the area had been comprehensibly searched.

Even though on this occasion nothing was found, we always take this type of call seriously and urge the public to call 999 and request the Coastguard if they see anyone in trouble at the coast, even if they are not 100% sure.

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RNLI media contact

  • Richard Wigley, Lifeboat Press Officer, Clacton RNLI: 07903 424698
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/ South East) Tel: 0207 6207416 /07786 668825
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
    0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 / tim_ash@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 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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