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Harwich inshore crews perform dual missions off the Essex and Suffolk coasts

Lifeboats News Release

On the morning of 27 July 2023, the inshore lifeboat (ILB) was tasked with responding to a distress call involving a Stand Up paddleboarder.

RNLI/Jeff Welch

Harwich B-Class Lifeboat

The paddleboarder had reportedly encountered difficulties approximately one mile north east of Woodbridge Haven buoy. The crew promptly launched the ILB and made their way to the scene.

Upon reaching the location, the crew observed that the paddleboarder had managed to paddle closer to the shore, significantly reducing the severity of the situation. The competent team swiftly assessed the situation and ensured the individual's safety. Fortunately, it was determined that no further assistance was required, and the relieved paddleboarder was safe and well. Consequently, the ILB was stood down, and the crew returned to their station.

Despite having already accomplished a successful rescue mission, the Harwich RNLI crew did not rest on their laurels. The team decided to conduct a familiarisation session in the Walton Backwaters.

To their surprise, during their training exercise, the crew came across a yacht that had become grounded in shallow waters. Swiftly adapting to the new challenge, the RNLI volunteers took immediate action.

After assessing the situation, it was decided that the safest option was to tow the vessel.

Employing their well-honed skills, they skilfully managed to establish a towline to the stranded yacht and successfully towed it to safe and deeper waters, ensuring the yacht's crew was out of danger.

The RNLI, a charitable organisation entirely dependent on donations and volunteer efforts, remains steadfast in its mission to save lives at sea.

Notes to Editor

The RNLI is the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Harwich RNLI is based on The Quay, Harwich. The lifeboat station was founded in 1829 and the volunteer crew use an all-weather Severn class lifeboat The Duke of Kent and B class lifeboat Tierney, Harvey and Sonny Reid.

More information on Stand-up paddleboarding can be found here -

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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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