Second life saved by the Clacton RNLI volunteer crew in less than a month

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew were paged just after 2.20am on Friday 8 June by UK Coastguard, and requested to launch Clacton RNLI’s D class lifeboat, to reports of someone having entered the water near the town’s iconic pier.

Clacton RNLI

First sighting of Casualty

Once launched, the volunteer crew were quickly on scene just west of Clacton Pier. With no direct communication with the Essex Police officers on the beach a crew member was put ashore with a handheld radio. The crew on the D Class completed a detailed search around the posts of the pier, while their colleague did the same from the shore, after which they returned to the lifeboat.

The Essex Police officers were still in contact with the first informant, who was able to give a lot more detail to help in the search. They were able to confirm when and where the person had entered the water, as they had gone in themselves to help, but was soon getting out of their depth and returned to shore to raise the alarm.

With this added information the helm was confident the person was still out there and would need assistance in locating them. He requested the launch of Clacton’s Atlantic Class lifeboat, David Porter MPS, and was informed the Essex Police helicopter was on route to assist. Due to being so close to shore radio communication with UK Coastguard was very poor, so a volunteer at Clacton’s Lifeboat Station was at the radio relaying messages throughout.

After a few quick calculations to determine the most likely area and direction of travel of the casualty, due to the speed of the flooding tide, and the time that had elapsed since entering the water, the crew of Clacton’s D Class lifeboat started a search from the pier towards Martello Bay in a ‘Zig Zag’ pattern to search as much area as possible.

The Atlantic Class lifeboat did the same but starting at Martello Bay and heading towards Jaywick. Within minutes of launching the casualty was spotted with their head just above the water, approximately 30 metres from the Atlantic Class Lifeboat. Both lifeboats headed straight for the casualty whilst requesting an ambulance to rendezvous with the lifeboats and casualty at the Lifeboat Station.

The volunteer crew of the Atlantic 85 extracted a female from the water and on the arrival of the D Class, quickly transferred them for a speedier recovery to the beach and the awaiting East of England Ambulance service.

Once ashore, a volunteer who is also a full-time paramedic jumped aboard the lifeboat and began the initial assessments before reaching the Lifeboat Station and awaiting ambulance.

After washing and rehousing the lifeboats, the volunteers of Clacton RNLI finally saw their beds again at about 4am.

Helm Joff Strutt said: ‘It was a great team effort by all involved resulting in a life being saved.’

Mr Strutt went onto say: ‘The first informant did the right thing by not getting out of their depth and returning to shore to raise the alarm, as the information they gave was invaluable in locating the casualty quickly. We strongly recommend not to go in after people or pets, as too often you can get caught out and need rescuing too. Call 999 and ask for the Coastguard, and if safe to do so, stay on scene until help arrives.’

Notes to Editor

The current D Class lifeboat at Clacton on Sea is the Hicks’ Help from the relief fleet while Clacton’s own Damarkand IV is away for a refit.

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

Clacton RNLI

Moving in to extract casualty from the water

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.

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