Clacton RNLI volunteer’s launch to sick and injured man

Lifeboats News Release

Clacton’s RNLI volunteers assist severely sea sick and injured man aground in the Gunfleet Wind Farm.

On Thursday 9 August the volunteers of Clacton RNLI were paged at approximately 4.40pm by UK Coastguard and requested to launch Clacton’s Atlantic Class lifeboat David Porter MPS. The lifeboat launched with four volunteer crew members aboard and tasked to assist a nine-metre yacht aground in the wind farm with a severely sea sick male onboard.

On arrival at the wind farm the casualty yacht was located to the western end in a position were the water was so shallow the helm had to almost feel their way in close. Unable to get closer than 100 feet and direct radio communication with the vessel saying the man had been sick nine times and had bumped their head a crew member waded across to the vessel with a first aid kit and handheld radio.

Once the crew member was on board, the lifeboat continued to seek out a route across the sandbank to get closer to the casualty vessel. The lifeboat managed to get to within fifteen feet and pass a tow line across. Once a towline was established the lifeboat began to take the strain to prevent the yacht being driven further aground.

In the meantime, Clacton’s D Class had been requested to launch and assist with the transfer of the casualty to the Atlantic Class lifeboat, due to its shallow draft. Just as the D Class arrived the casualty was pulled free of the sandbank.

Being the faster lifeboat the Atlantic 85 passed the tow to the D Class and took the casualty onboard and made best speed back to station, where there was an ambulance awaiting their arrival.

On reaching the station the casualty was passed to the care of the paramedics (who took the man to Colchester hospital for further assessments) before returning for a female passenger who was feeling the effect of the cold. She too was brought back to the station to be checked over by the paramedics.

The Atlantic Class lifeboat then relaunched for a third time to take over the tow from the D Class and proceeded to take the casualty vessel into Brightlingsea while the D Class returned to station. After they had been given the all clear by the paramedics, a crew member drove the lady brought ashore to Brightlingsea to await the boats arrival.

Later that evening at about 11pm the volunteers once again launched the D Class lifeboat. They were tasked to assist Essex Police and the Coastguard mobile unit with a female in the water at Clacton Pier. Once they were ashore in the care of Essex Police the lifeboat was stood down to return to station.

The day before at 6.10pm the Volunteer crew had launched to a vessel aground near the entrance to the River Colne, which was towed into Brightlingsea. Just as they were launching Hannah Simmons arrived with a selection of vehicles that had taken part in a cruise the previous Saturday in memory of Ben Quartermaine. Hannah also had a donation of over £140 raised during the event.

RNLI media contacts

  • Richard Wigley, Lifeboat Press Officer, Clacton RNLI: 07903 424698
  • Clare Hopps, RNLI Regional Media Officer, North East and East: 07824 518641
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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, 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.