Paddle boarders rescued during 'busiest weekend in memory' for Lifeboat crews

Harwich lifeboat volunteers had a busy weekend

Harwich lifeboat volunteers had a busy weekend - Credit: Leam Donn/Harwich RNLI

Lifeboat volunteers from Harwich RNLI spent more than 10 hours afloat over the weekend, including helping vessels off Felixstowe and Shotley.

Harwich lifeboat operations manager, Peter Bull, said: "I am proud of how the volunteers of Harwich RNLI have come together over these busy few days, and also thank their families for their understanding and support. 

"I feel this weekend could be a prelude to the predicted increase in demand for our help over the summer months, but there are simple things we can all do to limit call outs, and keep ourselves safe."

The long weekend started at 9pm on Thursday, July 15, when the crew of the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat assisted a 9m yacht into Shotley Marina.

Harwich RNLI volunteers had a busy weekend

Harwich RNLI volunteers had a busy weekend - Credit: Peter Bull, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Harwich RNLI

Next, they assisted a stricken 8m power boat, a mile south of Stone Pier, Harwich, with two people on board. The crew arrived just before 2pm on Saturday, July 17, where an assessment was carried out.

The power boat was towed to Shotley Marina, where the two occupants were assisted with their boat by the Holbrook Coastguard Rescue Team. 

On Sunday, July 18, volunteers assisted a 9m yacht with four people aboard entangled in fishing lines, approximately a mile from Cobbolds Point, Felixstowe. They swept the line underneath the yacht and cut it.

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The yacht was towed to Shotley Marina and the boat and its crew were passed to the care of the Holbrook Coastguard Rescue Team. 

The volunteers were paged once again at 8.45pm, and assisted two paddle boarders off Felixstowe Ferry, finally finishing their day at 10pm.

The last incident came at 7.24am on Monday, July 19, when the Severn class all-weather lifeboat, Albert Brown,  was called to a suspected boat fire off Felixstowe. It turned out a vessel had blown an injector, causing smoke, but they had it under control and were in no difficulty. 

Antony Charles, a trainee helm, said: "This has been one of the busiest weekends I can remember for a long time, but has been a great experience in my development towards becoming a helm.

"I had thought my recent command training course in April, at the RNLI college in Poole had been intense, but nothing beats real world experience, especially the yacht tangled in the lobster pots, which is something I have not come across before." 

For tips and advice on keeping safe this summer, visit the RNLI website.