Fishermen rescued off Felixstowe

TWO lucky fishermen escaped uninjured after their boat capsized after it was in a collision with another vessel.The drama unfolded as the men were competing in an angling contest four miles off the Felixstowe coast.

TWO lucky fishermen escaped uninjured after their boat capsized after it was in a collision with another vessel.

The drama unfolded as the men were competing in an angling contest four miles off the Felixstowe coast.

Although both the anglers, last night named as Barrie Senior and Simon King, were airlifted to Ipswich Hospital they did not suffer any injuries.

The incident happened around 2.40pm yesterday when a tug and tow came too close to their angling boat and caused it to capsize.

The pair, both from Essex, had been taking part in a contest organised and run by the Braintree Sea Angling Club, called the Gerry Armstrong Small Boat Memorial Match 2005.

It is thought around 50 boats were competing in the match, held annually in memory of Mr Armstrong, a former chairman of the angling club who died in 2002.

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The Harwich lifeboat and rescue helicopter from Wattisham were scrambled to the scene, but the two men were picked up by other boats which were close by, including the Harwich Haven pilot boat.

The anglers were subsequently taken to hospital by the Wattisham helicopter, but neither suffered any ill effects as a result of their time in the water.

A spokesman for Thames Coastguard, which is based at Harwich, said last night: “Both men are safe and sound.

“Obviously the water is particularly cold this time of year but both guys were rescued pretty quickly. “They were taken to hospital for a check up and one had cold water shock, however the other didn't get very wet as he managed to stay on top of the boat.”

Bob Pennick, one of the event co-ordinators, said the owner of the boat, Mr Senior, slipped into the water briefly while fellow angler Mr King was in the water for some 15 minutes.

He added: “It was a bit hairy and they were both a bit cold. They were both taken to Ipswich Hospital where they were checked over and they were picked up by their families.

“Apart from the incident with the tug, the event went alright.”

Mr Pennick added that it was lucky that visibility was good, the waters calm and not as cold as it could be this time of year.

An inquiry into the incident was launched last night and will be led by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch, with support from the Harwich Haven Harbour Master.

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