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Lowestoft: Three crewmen airlifted to hospital after abandoning a burning vessel

PUBLISHED: 16:07 14 January 2014 | UPDATED: 09:26 15 January 2014

The operations room at Humber Coastguard - credit Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

The operations room at Humber Coastguard - credit Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Archant

Three crewmen were airlifted to hospital after their vessel caught fire off the Suffolk coast forcing them to abandon ship.

The ECC Topaz was heading out to service a wind farm when the blaze took hold just before 1pm today, 10 nautical miles east of Lowestoft.

Humber Coastguard coordinated the rescue operation, involving a search and rescue helicopter for RAF Wattisham.

Watch manager Graham Dawson said: “The fire was quite severe and the crew had no option but to abandon vessel.

“The crew had the correct lifesaving equipment and rescue resources were quickly on scene.”

The crew waited in a life rafted until the helicopter crew arrived to winch them to safety before airlifting them James Paget University Hospital at Great Yarmouth as a precaution.

They are not thought to have suffered serious injuries.

A Dutch Coastguard aircraft and the Lowestoft RNLI also attended.

Fuel on board the vessel is believed to have burnt off during the blaze before the vessel sank.

Essex’s Police, Fire and Crime Panel has approved an average £12 increase in council tax - which looks to provide 150 more frontline officers in the county.

Everyone’s favourite ska band Madness are heading to Suffolk this summer as part of a four-date tour of UK stately homes.

The region’s ambulance trust, which is facing allegations of patient deaths due to delays, is to be the subject of a “risk summit”.

Emergency services have been called to the scene of a crash on the A14 near Coddenham.

The Multicultural Women’s Group of Bury St Edmunds (MWG) will be carrying out a demonstration in Bury St Edmund, next month, in support of One Billion Rising (OBR), the biggest mass action to end violence against womem.

Rail passengers are facing delays on the rails this morning due to a points failure at London Liverpool Street.

A councillor has decided to take Sudbury’s future into his own hands, believing that Babergh Distric Council has “inadequate motivation to get things moving”.

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