Demo turns into real-life drama
A DEMONSTRATION of new lifeboat facilities at Clacton turned into a rescue operation yesterday.RNLI members were keen to show members of the media their new, ultra-modern lifeboat station near the town's Martello Tower.
By Roddy Ashworth
A DEMONSTRATION of new lifeboat facilities at Clacton turned into a rescue operation yesterday.
RNLI members were keen to show members of the media their new, ultra-modern lifeboat station near the town's Martello Tower.
The local service relocated from its former split-site facilities - one on Clacton Pier and one on the promenade - on Wednesday.
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But shortly after staging a mock emergency launching of its local D-class inshore lifeboat, crew members spotted a woman who had run into difficulties while swimming.
The lifeboatmen quickly reached her, pulled her from danger and took her to land, where an ambulance arrived to assist.
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Yesterday Mel Winger, press officer for Clacton Lifeboat Service, said: “While we were getting ready an old lady went in to the water for a swim.
“We told the crews to be aware of her, and she must have run into trouble because the D-Class had to pick her up and take her to shore.
“To be honest, I had a job convincing the TV and media people we hadn't staged it for them. I think they only believed me when they saw the ambulance crew turn up.”
Mr Winger said the day had been a success, with excellent weather. But he added it was quite windy and water temperatures were low.
“That's probably why she got into trouble,” he added.
The new station will house both the service's Atlantic 75 and D-Class lifeboats and their launch tractors.
Previously the boats had been housed separately.
In addition, the new premises has a dedicated crew room where lifeboat volunteers can practise life-saving techniques such as first aid, navigational chart work and search and rescue skills.
The Lifeboat service's fund-raising shop is also incorporated within the new station.
“There are advantages - we've got both the boats in the same station for a start, so people know which direction to run in.
“We have modern crew facilities for drying and changing and a good crew room for training,” said Mr Winger.