First service of 2022 for Harwich RNLI volunteers

Lifeboats News Release

Reports of a dinghy floating off Felixstowe Pier, thought to have been lost locally, sparked not only the first service of 2022 for the volunteers, but the first ever service for Ian Hampton after joining Harwich RNLI in 2021.

RNLI/Richard Wigley

Ian Hampton

The first service of 2022 took a little longer to come than the previous year for the RNLI volunteers, having to wait until 2.49pm on January 6 for their pagers to sound. UK Coastguard had requested the crew to investigate reports of a two metre inflatable dinghy drifting off Felixstowe Pier.

Arriving on scene aboard Harwich’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Tierney, Harvey, and Sonny Reid was Ian Hampton, 48, undertaking his first ever service after joining Harwich RNLI last year. Ian and his fellow volunteers found that the small two metre dinghy had already been brought ashore by a member of the public having blown close to the shore. After discussions with the UK Coastguard, it was deemed no further action was required by the lifeboat crew as it was thought the dinghy was most likely lost locally in recent strong winds.

The lifeboat and its volunteer crew returned to station and were prepared for their next service by 4:10pm.

Reflecting on his first service Ian said:

‘While it was a relatively straight forward service, it was good to get my first one under my belt, the sea conditions made it a bit more exciting than my usual pastimes of golf and cycling.

‘Living in Harwich and working as a Stevedore team leader at the Port of Felixstowe you really can’t ever escape the sea, which is one of the main reasons I chose to volunteer. Learning new skills and working as a team to save lives at sea is an exciting prospect.’

Peter Bull Lifeboat Operations Manager added:

‘It’s good to see Ian join his fellow volunteers and get that first service completed, hopefully all his hard work in training made it a less daunting experience.

‘Our ability to answer a call for assistance is only possible due the generosity of our community and the hard work of the fundraising team, which makes the cancellation of January’s Coffee Mornings a hard decision to make, but with the rising cases of Covid it is a decision the fundraising team have had to make. We hope to start holding them again as soon as possible.’

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 07824518641or [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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Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.

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