Harwich and Manningtree News

Harwich RNLI celebrates 4000 acts of services following rescue

April 10, 2023

A LIFEBOAT station celebrated its 4,000th act of service after its all-weather lifeboat was launched to the aid three people.

At 3.10am on Tuesday, April 4, Harwich RNLI volunteers were alerted to an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon setting off on the Longsand Head, 25 miles off Harwich.

The beacon was from an 11.5-metre stoop with three people on passage to Ramsgate from Lowestoft.

A spokesman for Harwich RNLI said: “As the UK Coastguard were unable to raise the vessel on VHF, the charity’s lifeboats from Harwich and Walton were launched along with Coastguard rescue helicopter 163.

“The helicopter was first on scene and located the craft aground on the northern edge of the Longsand Head sandbank, and about 300 metres from the vessel the three crew were located in a dinghy, they were winched aboard the helicopter.

“After arriving almost simultaneously, the Walton and Harwich Lifeboats carried out a search for the craft. Harwich to the east, and Walton to the west of the bank.

“Once it was confirmed the casualty vessel was secure on the sandbank with her anchor, Harwich Lifeboat was stood down to return to station, whilst Walton waited for daylight to locate the dingy. “

The Harwich all-weather lifeboat returned to the station at 6.20am and refuelled ready for service.

They were called again at 3.50pm and tasked by the UK Coastguard to launch the station’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat and assist Essex Fire Service’s mud rescue team.

This callout saw a stranded family rescued in the Walton Backwaters.

The crew’s pagers sounded once again just after 6.30pm as a yacht’s anchor wasn’t holding and was drifting into a shipping lane.

Volunteers and the lifeboat were back at the station just before midnight, after towing the yacht to Ha’penny Pier.

Peter Bull, Harwich RNLI lifeboat operations manager, added: “This is a very special milestone for Harwich, which is made more remarkable when you consider the station was closed for almost 50 years, having closed during the First World War.

“It shows the dedication that the community of the town have shown over the years.”

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