Clacton RNLI’s volunteers launch three times over Bank Holiday weekend
The volunteers of Clacton RNLI were requested to launch three times by UK Coastguard during the Bank Holiday weekend, twice to vessels with engine failure and to a swimmer in difficulty.
Just before 2.30pm 25 May, Clacton RNLI’s Atlantic class inshore lifeboat David Porter MPS was launched on to a calm sea by the volunteer crew at the request of the UK Coastguard, to a 17ft speedboat with engine failure, 0.5 miles south of Lee-over-Sands.
A crew member was placed on board with a spare lifejacket for one of the occupants before preparing to tow the speedboat back to its launch site at Point Clear, where the crew assisted in recovering the boat to is trailer. Some safety advice was offered, especially in regard to wearing a lifejacket when taking to the water. The Lifeboat then returned to station, where it was recovered at 4pm.
Helmsman Eddie Vaughan-Chatfield was noted as saying; ‘I can’t stress enough the importance of wearing a lifejacket when out on the water, even on a calm day such as today. Not only will they keep you afloat and make you more visible, but they will reduce the chance of panic and therefore the ingestion of water.’
A little under five hours later at 8.55pm the volunteers of Clacton RNLI launched once again, this time aboard their D class inshore lifeboat Arthur Hamilton. UK Coastguard reported that there was a swimmer in difficulty near to the Gunfleet Sailing club. Essex Police Officers and members of the Clacton Coastguard mobile unit were also in attendance.
Arriving on scene the crew found the swimmer floating approx. 25 metres off the shoreline, blowing a distress whistle. Once aboard the Lifeboat the crew discovered the swimmer was undertaking an endurance swim, and had been in the water for two to three hours. Once back at the boathouse further medical advice was sought, resulting in an ambulance being sent due to the swimmer’s low core body temperature.
The third service came on Monday 27 May at 3.18pm when the volunteers launched Clacton RNLI’s Atlantic class lifeboat on to a slight sea, once again to a vessel with engine failure.
On arrival alongside the casualty, in between Wallet No.3 and No.6 Buoys, the crew discovered three people aboard with their dog. Due to their location it was deemed best for Clacton RNLI to begin the tow but hand over to Burnham-on-Crouch RNLI in the Whitaker Channel to continue the tow to its final destination. Clacton’s Atlantic class lifeboat David Porter MPS was rehoused and ready for service again by 6pm.
Notes to editor
D class inshore lifeboat Arthur Hamilton from the relief fleet is currently on station while Damarkand IV is away awaiting repair.
RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Richard Wigley volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07903424698 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Clare Hopps, Regional Media Officer on 07824518641 or Clare_Hopps@rnli.org.uk or contact the RNLI Press Office 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.