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'They were close to shipping lanes': Swimmers saved as coastal patrol busy on bank holiday

PUBLISHED: 23:22 27 August 2019 | UPDATED: 23:22 27 August 2019

The volunteer coast patrol helped 28 peiople over the bank holiday weekend, close to Felixstowe and Orford Ness Picture: RICHARD CORNWELL

The volunteer coast patrol helped 28 peiople over the bank holiday weekend, close to Felixstowe and Orford Ness Picture: RICHARD CORNWELL

Archant

Dozens of people in the water near Felixstowe were helped by coastal patrol volunteers this weekend after sizzling weather drove the public to the seaside.

The number of incidents was driven up by the hot weather and more members of the public getting into trouble while swimming Picture: FELIXSTOWE COAST PATROLThe number of incidents was driven up by the hot weather and more members of the public getting into trouble while swimming Picture: FELIXSTOWE COAST PATROL

Over three days this weekend the Felixstowe Volunteer Coastal Patrol went to the aid of 28 people who were getting into problems in the water off the coast of Suffolk.

While some people just needed reminding to behave safely, others may have had their lives saved as they quickly found themselves out of their depth in powerful tides.

A spokesman from the coastal patrol said: "Volunteers assisted a total of 28 people over the bank holiday weekend when the patrol lifeboat was tasked to swimmers too far away from the shore.

"One individual was a mile out to sea, close to busy shipping lanes, and others including children were swimming off the dangerous River Deben shoals despite the warning signs in place.

"Personal watercraft owners were also warned after numerous reports of the crafts being operated too close to swimmers near Felixstowe."

Swimmers were not the only people getting into difficulty on the scorching weekend - multiple boats also required help.

The spokesman added: "The lifeboat went to the assistance of a 42ft motor cruiser with two people aboard which had reportedly run aground near Cork Sand.

"The lifeboat also towed a 41ft sailboat with three more people aboard after reported engine problems close to Orford Ness."

The boat was also investigating potential pollution incidents possibly connected to the reports of people struggling to breathe on beaches in Clacton and Frinton, further south along the coast in Essex.

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