Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat called to aid safety boat during dinghy racing contest

Lifeboats News Release

A volunteer lifeboat crew was called out during heats for a prestigious sailing competition to assist a safety boat that had got into difficulties.

Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat was called out during the third heat of the International Laser Class Association’s World and European qualifiers being held on the east coast, when a rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) requested assistance after being stranded with a rope and chain around its propeller.

The Lowestoft RNLI relief lifeboat, RNLB Cosandra, was tasked with going to the aid of the two-man crew aboard the safety boat, about 4pm on Saturday (October 13) as the top class dinghy racing continued.

Lowestoft lifeboat coxswain John Fox said: 'The RHIB was actually on the Newcombe Sands and we touched the bottom as we approached the vessel. It was awash with water breaking over the craft completely filling it.

'The safety boat was towing some marker buoys when the ropes and chains attached to them fouled the propeller and caused the engine to stop. As the seawater engulfed the craft they also managed to lose the ignition key of the vessel overboard.

'We assisted by throwing them a tow line and brought the safety boat back into the yacht basin, arriving about 4.30pm. The two crew members were fine – if a little wet!'

RNLI media contacts

· Mick Howes, Lowestoft RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer
01502 562488 / 07814 468917
email mickhowes@hotmail.com

· Clare Hopps RNLI Regional Media Officer (North East & East), Tel 07824 518641 Clare_Hopps@rnli.org.uk

· Nicola Quinn, RNLI Regional Media Manager, Tel: 07810 658 072. Nicola_quinn@rnli.org.uk

· For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789. For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

RNLI/Mick Howes

Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat assist a safety boat stranded on a sandbank

RNLI / Lowestoft

Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat crew throw a towline to a safety boat stranded on a sandbank

RNLI / Lowestoft

Waves engulf the Safety boat stranded on the Newcombe sands

RNLI/Mick Howes

Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat crosses the sandbank to reach the stranded safety boat

RNLI / Mick Howes

Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat tows the stranded safety boat into quieter waters

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.