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Harwich RNLI volunteers launch for second time over Easter Weekend

Lifeboats News Release

After responding to their pagers three times over the Easter Weekend, the Harwich RNLI volunteers completed their second service of the weekend, when they helped a stranded yacht in the dark on Easter Monday


Library image of Harwich Atlantic Lifeboat being prepared for recovery in the dark

Just before 11pm on Monday 18 April (Easter Monday) the volunteer crew of Harwich RNLI’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Tierney, Harvey, and Sonny Reid launched for the second time over the Easter Weekend after responding to their pagers (link to first service details below in Notes to Editor).

On this occasion the UK Coastguard requested the volunteers to assist two people on board a small motor yacht, somewhere on the River Orwell, with engine failure. Being tired, cold, and a little distressed by the situation, the two occupants had tied up to a nearby buoy and called for help. Volunteers of the Holbrook Coastguard team had also been requested to undertake a shoreline search.

The coastguard team from Holbrook were first to spot the casualty vessel tied to a buoy under the Orwell Bridge. They successfully guided the Harwich lifeboat crew to their location. On arrival the volunteers undertook a welfare check of the two occupants.

It was deemed the safest option was for the lifeboat to tow the casualties and their yacht to its mooring at Debbage Yacht Moorings, where the coastguard team had gone ahead by road in preparation for their arrival. Once safely on its mooring, the yacht’s occupants were passed to the care of the coastguard team.

The volunteer crew were finally able to return to their beds, after ensuring the lifeboat was ready for service, at 1:30am next morning.

Helmsman Antony Charles said afterwards:

‘It was a good joint effort between ourselves and the coastguard team, resulting in a positive outcome. The occupants did the right thing calling for help and tying to the buoy, as this prevented them getting into a worse situation, drifting uncontrollably on the tidal river.’

In 2021 the volunteers of Harwich RNLI launched on average every three days to aid a total stranger in distress. None of which would have been possible without the generous support of the community.

Notes to Editor

For details of first service of the weekend follow link to RNLI Website:

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.


Library image of Harwich Atlantic Lifeboat being recovered from the water in the dark

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.

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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.