Lowestoft: Sunken vessel rescued - first picture

THE dive boat at the centre of a major drama in Lowestoft has been recovered, and is now back on the town’s quay.

The 33ft boat was recovered last night – and this is the first picture of the damaged vessel, just hours after the rescue.

What had been planned to be a recreational dive for the divers almost turned into tragedy as the 11 men aboard the boat were pulled to safety by the town’s RNLI lifeboat as the waves crashed over them on Sunday at around 12noon.

Four men were trapped in the wheelhouse as the boat sunk at the stern. They managed to escape through the wheelhouse window.

Last night, a specialist tug, with a crane, lifted the stricken boat from the sea.

A Lowestoft lifeboat spokesman said: “The picture shows it’s the smallest of windows in the wheelhouse and this is what the men would’ve had to have squeezed through.”

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch will now be carrying out an investigation, to help find out why the boat took on water.

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The four men who were taken to hospital suffering from “diesel ingestion” and shock have now been discharged. It was understood that one of the men was transferred to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, after getting diesel in his eye, but he has also been discharged.

Ian Meers, one of the divers who was stuck in the wheelhouse – with the door stuck fast –said it was “very frightening” as “everyone was trapped.”

Lowestoft lifeboat coxswain John Fox added: “The guys in the wheelhouse were stuck in there for a few minutes and to see them in the wheelhouse looking out of the windows, it must have been terrifying – but they were remarkably calm.”

The Lowestoft RNLI all-weather lifeboat had been on exercise in the area at the time.

It was on the scene of the incident rapidly to rescue all 11 men from the water.

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