Lifeboat spotted on River Orwell as boat crews practice man overboard drill

The Harwich lifeboat attended a training on the River Orwell Picture EMMA LIGHTFOOT

The Harwich lifeboat attended a training on the River Orwell Picture EMMA LIGHTFOOT - Credit: Archant

The Harwich lifeboat were out on the River Orwell at the weekend dealing with a supposed crash between the Orwell Lady river cruiser and the sailing barge Victor.

Orwell Lady crew safety training session on the River Orwell Picture: EMMA LIGHTFOOT

Orwell Lady crew safety training session on the River Orwell Picture: EMMA LIGHTFOOT - Credit: Archant

The activity was, in actual fact, a crew safety training event for the teams from both pleasure craft, which are based at Ipswich Waterfront.

Emma Lightfoot, director of Orwell River Cruises, said: “We do this every year, at the end of the season, getting together for various scenarios out on the river.

The rescue drill prepares crews of the sailing barge Victor and the Orwell Lady for a real life emer

The rescue drill prepares crews of the sailing barge Victor and the Orwell Lady for a real life emergency Picture: EMMA LIGHTFOOT - Credit: Archant

“We did first aid and passenger overboard drills, and we ran over procedures for dealing with a fire on board.

“We dealt with multiple casualties from a collision on the river. I was one of them.

Man overboard training keeps crews of The Orwell Lady up to date with safety practices Picture: EMM

Man overboard training keeps crews of The Orwell Lady up to date with safety practices Picture: EMMA LIGHTFOOT - Credit: Archant

“The Victor and the Orwell Lady both benefit from it. It works for both parties. The lifeboat was also able to use it as a training exercise.

“It is great to have everybody working as a team. We were really pleased with it.”

Orwell Lady skippers and crew; Gareth Ridall, Kevin Arnold, Craig Hunter, Mike Seaney, Emma Lightfoo

Orwell Lady skippers and crew; Gareth Ridall, Kevin Arnold, Craig Hunter, Mike Seaney, Emma Lightfoot, kristina Webb, Carl Webb, Luke Brett Picture: EMMA LIGHTFOOT - Credit: Archant

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The 2018 season had now been completed, she said, with pleasure cruises from Ipswich resuming at Easter 2019.

She added: “We have had a very good season. The weather has been great.

“With the hot weather people wanted to get out on the river to cool off, which has worked in our favour.

“We already have the dates in the diary for next year, starting at Easter.”

During the winter a range of maintenance, painting and repair work will take place on board.

She addsd: “In the New Year we will be out of the water for our MCA checks, at Haven Marina.”