Harwich RNLI’s quietest August in seven years comes to an abrupt end

Lifeboats News Release

The Volunteers of Harwich RNLI had been experiencing their quietest August in seven years - which has been credited to those visiting the coast heeding safety advice and respecting the water - when on Friday they received their first of four call outs over the Bank Holiday weekend.

RNLI/Harwich RNLI

The first of the four services came at 8:10pm on Friday 26 August, when, via UK Coastguard, paramedics from the East of England Ambulance Service requested the RNLI volunteers to help them with a casualty who had been out with friends, but was now drifting in and out of consciousness off Cobbold Point, Felixstowe.

Due to the location being surrounded by rocks, it was deemed safest to transfer the young woman to the charity’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Tierney, Harvey, and Sonny Reid and take her via water to meet up with the waiting ambulance and paramedics. Avoiding the risks involved stretchering her over slippery uneven rocks. Once safely in the care of the paramedics once again, the RNLI volunteers were released to return to station.

The second service of the weekend came on Sunday 28 August at 6.51pm, when the Harwich volunteers were requested by the UK Coastguard to assist a broken down Rigid Inflatable boat (RIB) 300 metres offshore, at the entrance to the River Deben. Once an assessment had been made by the inshore lifeboat helm, it was deemed the safest option was to take the vessel and its four occupants in tow to Shotley Marina, where they were met by Holbrook Coastguard Rescue Team, and placed in their care.

1pm on Bank Holiday Monday saw the crew being paged by the UK Coastguard with reports of a person experiencing difficulty in the water close to Landguard Point, Felixstowe. Arriving on scene, the crew were happy to see that the casualty had been rescued and in the care of paramedics. At which point they were released to return to station.

The fourth call came on Tuesday morning for the charity’s volunteers, when they were requested to launched by the UK Coastguard. Someone was reported to be in difficulty in the water off Harwich Green. They were brought ashore and placed in the care of Walton’s Coastguard Rescue team before the inshore lifeboat and its crew were released to return to station.

​Harwich RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager Peter Bull, said: ‘I believe the local community, and those visiting the coast heeding safety advice, and respecting the water, has resulted in the lowest number of call outs for an August in seven years for the Harwich volunteers, for which I can’t thank them enough for.

‘This did mean however, the weekend came as a bit of a shock for the crew members, especially those who have recently joined, but still responded each time to their pagers with dedication and professionalism.’

Tips on enjoying the coastline safely throughout the year, for all types of activities, are available at rnli.org.uk

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.

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