Clacton RNLI volunteers in joint effort to assist barge aground

Lifeboats News Release

Clacton RNLI volunteers alongside those of Walton and Frinton RNLI assist a 39 Metre barge stranded in the River Colne.

RNLI/Richard Wigley

Barge being assisted by Walton & Frinton RNLI and Brightlingsea Harbour Master

On Saturday 08 December at 8am Clacton RNLI’s Atlantic Class lifeboat ‘David Porter MPS’ was launched with four volunteer crew members aboard onto a moderate sea at the request of UK Coastguard. Initially to assess the situation with a 39 Metre barge that was stranded in the River Colne and determine what assistance was needed.

On arrival alongside the casualty vessel it was discovered that the barge was heading for St Osyth from Gillingham with two people aboard, and had spent the night in the River Colne awaiting a suitable tide and an experienced skipper in order to get them through Brightlingsea Harbour.

The barge had suffered engine trouble when at low water sediment had been sucked into the engines. Without power the barge ran aground at the entrance to Ray Creek.

It was obvious to the helmsman that they would require assistance from Walton and Frinton RNLI with their larger All Weather Lifeboat (ALB) to re-float the barge.While awaiting their arrival a crewmember was placed aboard to make ready for towing.

Once towed free and in open water the decision was made to escort the barge into Brightlingsea, as by this time the crew of the barge had managed to get the engines running again.

They were met by the Harbour Master who attached a line to the bow of the barge, while Walton and Frinton RNLI’s lifeboat attached a line to the stern, in order to help control the barge in the confines of the harbour, due to its lack of manoeuvrability.

On reaching the Wharf, the Harbour Master and Walton’s ALB held the barge in position using the lines previously attached, while Clacton’s lifeboat pushed the barge into position alongside the wharf.

Helmsman Joff Strutt, said; “Today’s service was an excellent example of teamwork from all involved, and highlighted the reason behind the RNLI having the range of assets to call upon around our coastline.”

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

RNLI/Richard Wigley

Barge being prepared for tow

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