Southend RNLI urges visitors to take extra care

Lifeboats News Release

Southend RNLI are urging people visiting the seaside town this weekend – and throughout the school holidays – to take extra care, after the volunteer crew responded to four separate calls for help in two hours yesterday.

Southend D Class and Rescue Hovercraft at the inshore lifeboat station


Southend D Class and Rescue Hovercraft at the inshore lifeboat station

Tasking 1) At 4:13pm the volunteer crew were alerted to a swimmer in difficulty in Hadleigh Ray and was reported clinging to the side of a fishing vessel. Due to it being just after low tide, the crew launched the rescue hovercraft to enable them to easily overcome the vast mudflats around the area. The swimmer had been pulled to the safety of the fishing vessel where his condition was monitored. When the crew arrived, they made the decision to take the swimmer ashore and handed over to the Coastguard officers to further monitor the swimmer’s condition.

Tasking 2) Whilst finishing the previous tasking, the crew were then alerted to another call for help at the Mulberry Harbour where there were reports of three people that had been cut off by the tide. When the team arrived on scene, the casualties had been picked up by a rescue boat from one of the local yacht clubs. The team met with the rescue boat, where they transferred the casualties onto the hovercraft and returned them to shore.

Tasking 3) At this point, the team had washed down the hovercraft and had returned home for a well-deserved rest. However at 6:01pm, the pagers sounded again. This time, the team launched their inshore D-Class lifeboat to reports of four persons cut off by the tide opposite the Hope Hotel. The crew quickly had ‘eyes-on’ the casualties and made haste to their location. On arrival, the crew brought all four persons onto the vessel and returned them to the shore.

Tasking 4) The crew were then immediately re-tasked to reports of a person cut off by the tide in Hadleigh Ray. On arrival, the crew located the person on a yacht, safe and well. On this occasion, it was a false alarm with good intent. The crew were then stood down and returned to station.

Graham Slack, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Southend Lifeboat Station said:

‘If you think that there is a possibility that someone could be in trouble within the water, do not hesitate, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard. As a crew, we would much rather find someone safe and well, instead of not being paged for a potentially serious incident’.

‘With the school holidays now in full swing the coastline is becoming ever-more tempting for families and individuals to visit to enjoy the local attractions. When we have visitors on hot days (such as today (31/07/2020)) the sea becomes a tempting place for a cool down, swim, or other recreational activities. However, knowing the dangers, and more importantly how to avoid them, will ensure that your visit to the coast is as safe and enjoyable as possible’.

Visitors are advised to check the following things before heading to the coast:

· Check the tide times before you visit

· If entering the water, let someone know where you are going and the time you will return

· Always carry a means of contacting help

· If you find yourself in trouble at the coast, Dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

RNLI Media contacts:

Frank Holland, Deputy volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Southend RNLI (07760) 668658 [email protected]

· Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East), 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 [email protected]

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

RNLI online: For more information on the RNLI please visit News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre.

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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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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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