September 18 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, August 24, 2014
Volunteer lifeboat crews had to go the aid of seven sailors and a dog last week just minutes after putting on displays for the Clacton Airshow.
Members of Clacton RNLI’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat crew were working with the RAF Sea King search and rescue helicopter as part of the show.
Their exercise saw them work together to pick up lifeboatmen from the sea but were called to real-life rescue missions on both Thursday and Friday shortly after the demonstrations ended.
On Thursday the lifeboat was called to two men and two women who had got stuck in their rigid inflatable boat which ran aground on Mersea Flats around 1.50pm.
Crewman Joff Strutt said: “When the boys got there they couldn’t get to the boat as it was aground, so crewman Tristan Welham swam in to check they were well and safe and had plenty of water and food.
“They decided to wait for the tide to come in, so we laid their anchor out so they wouldn’t drift as the water rose.”
After taking part in the air show for a second time on Friday the crew was again called to the aid of a vessel by Thames Coastguard.
The lifeboat was called to a 22ft motor cruiser which had run out of fuel near Colne Point, off St Osyth.
“On arrival the crew found three people on board, including a hearing dog called Timmy,” Mr Strutt said.
“We put a crewman on board and then took the cruiser under tow to Brightlingsea harbour.
“We arrived back to Clacton as the Red Arrows were taking to the skies, so we stayed afloat for a while longer because Martello Bay was extremely busy.”