Balloons spark rescue alert off Suffolk coast

PUBLISHED: 17:00 20 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:48 21 August 2019

The crew of the RNLI Lifeboat at Aldeburgh head out on to the North Sea for a training exercise

The crew of the RNLI Lifeboat at Aldeburgh head out on to the North Sea for a training exercise


Lifeboats were called out to Thorpeness on Monday afternoon only to find that a potential casualty in the water was not what it first appeared.

Aldeburgh RNLI had been taking part in the town's annual carnival when they received a call to help at around 2.30pm after concerns that a casualty was drifting out to sea on a rubber raft off the Suffolk coast.

Two boats, the all-weather lifeboat Freddie Cooper and the inshore lifeboat Susan Scott were launched to track down the individual.

You may also want to watch:

However on arrival the crews found three balloons, two yellow and one black, rather than a casualty.

Aldeburgh RNLI Coxswain Steve Saint said: "There is a visual similarity between a balloon and a person in the water, from the shoreline, which cannot be dismissed.

"We therefore must launch to investigate, even though it is a false alarm with good intent."

After recovering the balloons from the water, both boats were stood down and taken back to the station at 5.05pm.

Last month emergency services were called to Felixstowe beach after concerns that a microlight aircraft had crashed into the beach. It turned out to be a silver balloon.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East Anglian Daily Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the East Anglian Daily Times