RNLI Clacton rescue person drifting on an inflatable dinghy

Lifeboats News Release

On Friday 5 August 2022 at approximately 2pm, crew from the Clacton-on-Sea RNLI Lifeboat station received a call with reports of a person in difficulties drifting offshore aboard a small inflatable dinghy.

Inflatables are a growing concern during summer season

BBC Essex

Inflatables are a growing concern during summer season

The volunteer crew immediately launched their D-Class ILB (Inshore Lifeboat) ‘Damar’s Pride’ into warm, sunny and calm conditions, and made their way at best speed toward the last known location, some 100 metres offshore of Jaywick.

After a short search, the dinghy and one occupant were located by the crew and it was clear that the person aboard the dinghy would have not been able to self-recover themselves back to the shore, due to the strong tide. The crew quickly and safely recovered the casualty aboard the lifeboat where a welfare check was given to the casualty, and they were found to be well.

The crew proceeded to the shoreline and helped the casualty to the beach who continued their way.

Lifeboat Press Officer, Mark Walsham commented 'Inflatables can be great fun when they’re used safely. But every summer, they’re one of the most common reasons our lifeboat crews are called to action. They’re not designed for the beach so it’s easy to get swept out to sea.

So, if you’re bringing an inflatable to the beach, remember these safety tips:

  • choose a lifeguarded/beach patrol beach
  • use your inflatable close to shore and between the red and yellow flags
  • make sure children are supervised
  • never use inflatables in big waves or when orange windsock is flying.

And remember, if you see someone in trouble, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.'

The lifeboat crew was stood down and the lifeboat returned to the lifeboat station, where it was cleaned, refuelled and put back onto active service by 2.45pm.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact:

Mark Walsham, RNLI Clacton volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07468511158, or [email protected]

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.