RNLI Wells volunteer crew assist search for missing person in Brancaster Harbour

Lifeboats News Release

Wells inshore lifeboat was tasked by HM Coastguard at 12.49am on Monday 4 July, to assist in locating the whereabouts of a 64-year-old male with medical concerns. He had not responded to calls from his family whilst staying on board his yacht in Brancaster Harbour.

Sunrise over the sea

RNLI/Simon Parkes

Sunrise over Wells as the volunteer crew return from a call out during the night.

The Hunstanton lifeboat had been tasked earlier to the incident but was unable to get into the harbour as there was insufficient water on the ebbing tide.

The volunteer crew of four launched at 1.05am outside the boathouse and proceeded toward Brancaster Harbour. Wells inshore lifeboat arrived offshore at 1.30am and began to advance towards the harbour entrance against the ebbing tide. At 2.30am, the lifeboat had worked its way inwards but was still in the outer area of the harbour, as lack of water prevented the boat from getting any further to where the yacht was thought to be moored.

The search then switched to the Coastguard team who proceeded to walk out to the yacht from the shore, and the inshore lifeboat was stood down at 3.10am. It returned to Wells for a low water recovery in Holkham Bay.

At 3.30am, the Coastguard team located the yacht and ascertained that the man was thankfully safe on board. He had gone to bed not realising his mobile phone was out of charge.

The inshore lifeboat was ashore at 3.35am and was subsequently sanitised, rehoused, refuelled and back on service again at 4.40am.

Lifeboat Operations Manager, Chris Hardy, said ‘we are very relieved that this incident had a happy conclusion. It is important that people know that we are here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, ready to respond to any eventuality of potential danger from the sea. Any concerns people may have regarding possible incidents on our coastline are always a valid reason to phone 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

Inshore lifeboat launching in the dark

RNLI/Harvey Gunhouse

Inshore lifeboat launch to missing person in the night

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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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