Happisburgh RNLI volunteers called to inflatable being blown out to sea

Lifeboats News Release

Happisburgh Coastwatch saw an inflatable being blown out to sea, with what they thought was a person next to it, so contacted HM Coastguard.

Russell Pickering Launching on callout

RNLI/Philip Smith

Russell Pickering Launching on callout

The pagers sounded at 2:15pm on Monday 22 June to an inflatable being blown out to sea on an offshore wind. The Duty Launching Authority was contacted by HM Coastguard and the crew pagers set off.

Happisburgh’s D-Class, D-813 Russell Pickering was on the water at 2:20pm with Charlotte Siely on the helm and Tim Grimmer and Matthew Haystead as crew and set course for the inflatable, which was visible from the beach.

On arrival at the inflatable no person was found just an orange football; both items were picked up and a box search was carried out again and nothing found.

HM Coastguard then tasked them to do a shoreline search down to Sea Palling, with Bacton Coastguard team patrolling the beach at the same time. Again nothing was found so after an hour of searching the lifeboat was stood down and returned to station and Russell Pickering was recovered at 3.25pm and made ready for sevice again. This included Covid -19 safeguarding procedures.

This was a call with good intent.

The RNLI urges people not to use inflatables, blow-up toys and airbeds are designed for pools, not the sea where they can easily be swept out.

RNLI Media contacts

· Happisburgh Lifeboat Station Volunteer Press Officer Philip Smith

Mobile 07766007936 E-mail lofty273@googlemail.com

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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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