Donate now

Harwich RNLI race against rising tides to rescue a yacht and a dog walker

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteers of Harwich RNLI were called to two incidents within 24 hours where time was of the essence off Dovercourt. A woman and her dog were cut off by the tide, and a yacht was in danger of smashing into the sea wall on a rising tide and a strong on shore wind.


The first incident happened at 2.49pm on Sunday 30 October, when both of the charity’s lifeboats responded to a vessel aground approximately 100 metres off the Dovercourt seafront. With a rising tide and strong wind blowing towards the shore, the vessel was in danger of being pushed into the sea wall.

First on scene was Harwich RNLI’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Tierney, Harvey, and Sonny Reid which managed to get close enough to attach a tow line to the vessel and hold it steady, preventing it being pushed further towards the sea wall.

On the arrival of Harwich’s all-weather lifeboat Albert Brown, the tow line was passed across. Once safely in deeper water the five occupants and vessel were assessed before continuing the tow on to Harwich’s Ha’penny Pier.

The second incident happened within 24 hours at 2:33pm on Monday 31 October, when the volunteers aboard the charity’s Atlantic 85 were once again making best speed towards Dovercourt. This time a woman out walking her dog had been caught out by the tide west of Dovercourt Bay.

Arriving on scene the crew quickly brought them aboard and assessed their condition before returning to station at 3:40pm. As no further assistance was required, both owner and dog were happy to make their own way home.

Harwich RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Peter Bull said afterwards:

‘Positive outcomes such as these are only possible due to the dedication of the volunteers that train twice a week in all conditions, perfecting their skills in search and rescue so when time pressure incidents happen such as these, they have a fluidity between them that creates a positive outcome.

'Each year, on average the charity spends £1400 on each crew member’s training, ensuring they can safely meet the challenges of trying to save everyone. None of which would be possible without the generosity of our community.

‘Before setting out for the coast, please remember to check predicted tide heights as well as times, as they change daily. These can be found on the Harwich Haven Authority website or via dedicated phone apps.’

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

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.

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.