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Happisburgh RNLI volunteers called into action to support rescue of four

Lifeboats News Release

They received a call to reports of people in the water at Sea Palling at 7pm and their D class, Russell Pickering, was on the water within five minutes with three volunteers

Russell Pickering Launching on service to Sea Palling

RNLI/Philip Smith

Russell Pickering Launching on service to Sea Palling

Four minutes later they arrived at Sea Palling to find a local fishing boat had brought four people to the beach, two adults and two children, who had been caught in a rip current.

The two adults were both in a bad way. The lifeboat immediately beached to help the casualties - all three crew were giving care to the casualties, giving them oxygen, with help of the fire service and other people on the beach.

All four casualties were handed over to the ambulance service for further treatment and taken to hospital.

There was a large turn-out of emergency services and the response included Happisburgh RNLI, Stalham Fire Station, ambulance, HM Coastguard and police along with crew members from Hemsby Lifeboat, who were on the beach.

The Russell Pickering returned to station at 8.25pm to be refuelled, re-stocked and cleaned, ready for service again.

This was the first callout for Chris Rigby since passing out as Helm and Thomas Hunn since passing out as qualified crew.

Chris Rigby said: 'It was great to be able to put all my training into action to help save these people at Sea Palling.

'My crew were magnificent and everything that we had trained for was put into action. I must also thank the fishermen for their quick action in getting the two adults ashore and the members of the public on the beach, our colleagues from Hemsby Lifeboat, plus all the emergency services’.

Rip currents are a major cause of accidental drowning and there is a high risk of rip currents between the sand bars and the reefs at Sea Palling, mainly around high tide.

People should stay away from these areas of the beach.

However, if you do find yourself caught in a rip, remember our Float to Live advice - tilt your head back with ears submerged, relax and try to breathe normally, move your hand to help you stay afloat, it's OK if your legs sink (we all float differently), and spread your arms and leg to improve stability.

Notes to editors

Happisburgh Lifeboat Station Volunteer Press Officer Philip Smith

Mobile 07766007936 E-mail [email protected]
Russell Pickering returning after service

RNLI/Philip Smith

Russell Pickering returning after service

RNLI/Philip Smith

Chris Rigby R and Thomas Hunn L

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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