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Local fishermen applauded by Harwich RNLI for rescuing a man off Felixstowe

Lifeboats News Release

A man’s life has been saved by fishermen responding to a Mayday call off Felixstowe as lifeboat volunteers were en route.

RNLI/Jon Bliss

Just before 7am on Saturday 29 May, Harwich’s Atlantic class inshore lifeboat Tierney, Harvey & Sonny Reid was requested by UK Coastguard to search 2.5 miles south east of Landguard Point, after receiving a Mayday call that someone had fallen from their boat - a Mayday call is the highest priority call for assistance.

The skipper of fishing vessel Yvonne Anne, Peter Caunter, also heard the Mayday man overboard call and recounts the events:

‘We were in the vicinity of the position given, approximately 1.6 miles from us. We made best speed and arriving at the scene, found a small angling vessel, with one man on board and another in the water beside the vessel.

‘We tied alongside and my two crew members went aboard, and between the three of them, managed to get the casualty aboard, who was very cold and semi-conscious.’

‘As the lifeboat was only minutes away, the casualty was wrapped in a thermal blanket in readiness for a transfer to the lifeboat.’

Once the lifeboat was on scene, the casualty’s condition was assessed by an RNLI Casualty Care trained crewmember, who deemed it necessary to request an ambulance to meet them at Harwich’s Ha’Penny Pier. The man was transferred to the care of paramedics from East of England Ambulance Service.

On the evening of Wednesday 2 June, a member of the public, a Kayaker, also demonstrated quick thinking by aiding people who were in difficulty and drifting out to sea with small inflatables.

Inflatables are something that the RNLI recommends people don’t use in the sea, as they can quickly and easily be swept out.

The charity urges people to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard before attempting to help someone in trouble.

Harwich RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Peter Bull, wished to thank the crew of the Yvonne Anne, and went on the say: ‘Many aspects to this incident contributed to a good outcome; the casualty wearing a lifejacket, the lifeboat crews training, but the overriding factor must be the quick response to the Mayday call from Peter and his crew.

‘I’d like to add that RNLI volunteers give up their bank holiday weekends to be on call for emergencies like this and I’d like to thank them for the commitment and dedication that they give to the RNLI, often having to leave their families to help others.’

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact:

Richard Wigley, RNLI Harwich volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07903424698 or [email protected],

Clare Hopps, Regional Media Officer on 07824518641 or [email protected] 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 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.

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.