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Boat owners urged to prepare for sea after Withernsea RNLI call out.

Lifeboats News Release

Withernsea's RNLI volunteers were called to assist a pleasure craft that was seen drifting out to sea with father and son on board.

RNLI/Matthew Woodhouse

Withernsea Lifeboat towing the vessel that had drifted out to sea

Just before 5pm on Wednesday 8 August, the UK Coastguard requested the launch of Withernsea's inshore lifeboat 'Henley Eight' after a member of the public dialled 999 to say her husband and son were drifting out to sea on their fishing boat.

A volunteer crew of three launched within minutes and located the boat and its two crew half a mile east of Withernsea's lifeboat station. It was discovered that the boat's engine had failed, but with no radio, phone or any other means of communication, the boats occupants could not raise the alarm themselves.

The boat was safely taken under tow and brought back to Withernsea beach, were local Coastguards were waiting to give safety advice.

Volunteer Helmsman Matthew Woodhouse said: 'On this occasion, the boat owner and his son were very lucky. We cannot stress enough the importance of carrying the correct equipment on board your vessel any time it goes afloat.

'Had the boat owners family not realised he was in trouble and called 999 straight away, a relatively simple tow job could have turned into a much bigger search and rescue mission. Even on lovely weather days like today, the tide is strong and they quickly found themselves half a mile out at sea in a matter of minutes with no means of propulsion or communication. Boat owners should go to sea with a functioning radio at the very least. And we urge everyone to at least carry mobile phones with them at the beach, and let somebody know where you are going, for your own safety.'

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 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.