RNLI Wells lifeboat assists woman taking refuge on boat in Blakeney Harbour

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI Wells inshore lifeboat was tasked by HM Coastguard at 4.19pm on Tuesday 26 October, to go to the assistance of a woman who had got into difficulties walking in the outer reaches of Blakeney harbour and had sought refuge on a boat in the vicinity.

Inshore lifeboat launching at low tide

RNLI/Ray West

RNLI Wells inshore lifeboat crew launch to assist woman in Blakeney Harbour

The Wells inshore lifeboat Peter Wilcox left the boathouse at low water and proceeded to the low water launch site on the west side of Wells beach. It launched at 4.43pm and headed eastward towards Blakeney Harbour approaches.

The person in difficulties had managed to alert the Coastguard using a VHF radio on the boat she had boarded but was unable to provide a clear indication of her actual whereabouts.

Wells Coastguard team were also in attendance and proceeded in their all-terrain vehicle to the Old Lifeboat Station at Blakeney. Meanwhile, a fixed wing Coastguard aircraft in the vicinity joined in the search and located the woman after several fly pasts of the harbour.

The inshore lifeboat arrived in the outer harbour at 5.05pm, and with very little water in the channel, landed a crew member with a VHF radio who walked towards the Old Lifeboat Station. The aircraft was able to direct the lifeboat crew member toward the boat which was approximately a further ¾ of a mile away.

The inshore lifeboat crew member arrived at the boat at 5.27pm and found the woman onboard safe and without injuries; however, she needed guidance to get back to the shore safely. The crew member helped the woman off the boat and guided her across the harbour channel and adjacent marsh to the Old Lifeboat Station, approximately ½ mile away.

They arrived at 5.57pm and were met by the local Coastguard team, who took the woman back to the safety of the mainland at Blakeney.

The inshore crew member then made his way back to the lifeboat. Once onboard, the lifeboat crew returned to station, arriving back at 6.30pm on the first of the flood tide.

The inshore lifeboat was then sanitised, rehoused, refuelled and back on service again at 7.21pm.

Lifeboat Operations Manager, Chris Hardy, said ‘the casualty was fortunate to find a way of communicating for help when she found herself in difficulties; however, it may not have been that easy. That is why it is important to always carry a means of communication when walking along our coastline, so that any difficulties can be communicated to the Coastguard straight away and help can be provided.’

Inshore lifeboat speeding across the sea to Blakeney Harbour

RNLI/Ray West

Inshore lifeboat speeding to assist woman in difficulties in Blakeney Harbour

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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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