Fishermen save drowning man's life off Suffolk coast on bank holiday weekend

Harwich RNLI has praised the fishermen who saved a man's life in waters off Felixstowe last weekend

Harwich RNLI has praised the fishermen who saved a man's life in waters off Felixstowe last weekend - Credit: John Bliss

A crew of fishermen have been praised for their swift actions on the May bank holiday weekend, when they saved the life of a man who had fallen from his boat.

On Saturday, May 29, Harwich RNLI were called by the UK Coastguard with a Mayday call that someone had fallen from their boat 2.5 miles south east of Landguard Point at Felixstowe.

The Mayday call is the highest priority call for assistance and the inshore lifeboat Tierney, Harvey & Sonny Reid was dispatched.

However, Peter Caunter, skipper of fishing vessel Yvonne Anne, also heard the Mayday man overboard call and decided to head straight for the scene.

"We were in the vicinity of the position given, approximately 1.6 miles from us," he recalled.

"We made best speed and arriving at the scene, found a small angling vessel, with one man on board and another in the water beside the vessel.  

"We tied alongside and my two crew members went aboard, and between the three of them, managed to get the casualty aboard, who was very cold and semi-conscious.

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"As the lifeboat was only minutes away, the casualty was wrapped in a thermal blanket in readiness for a transfer to the lifeboat."

Once the lifeboat was on scene, the casualty’s condition was assessed by an RNLI casualty care trained crew member, who deemed it necessary to request an ambulance to meet them at Harwich’s Ha’Penny Pier.

The man was then transferred to the care of paramedics from East of England Ambulance Service. 

Harwich RNLI lifeboat operations manager, Peter Bull, said: "Many aspects to this incident contributed to a good outcome; the casualty wearing a lifejacket, the lifeboat crews training, but the overriding factor must be the quick response to the Mayday call from Peter and his crew.

"I’d like to add that RNLI volunteers give up their bank holiday weekends to be on call for emergencies like this and I’d like to thank them for the commitment and dedication that they give to the RNLI, often having to leave their families to help others."

Another incident happened just days later on Wednesday, June 2, when people were saved from drifting out to sea on inflatables.

A quick-thinking Kayaker was there to stop them getting into trouble, however the RNLI urges people to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard before attempting to help someone in trouble. 

The charity also advised against inflatable use in the sea.

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