Sailor rescued from River Deben after dinghy capsizes

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

Harwich RNLI assisted a good Samaritan who rescued a sailor in the River Deben - Credit: John Bliss

A passing good Samaritan rescued a sailor from the water after his dinghy capsized in the fast-flowing River Deben. 

After a request from the UK Coastguard, Harwich's Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat - Tierney, Harvey and Sonny Reid - launched with four volunteers just after 4pm on Tuesday. 

The crew were asked to assist a sailor who had capsized their dinghy, and become separated from it by the fast flowing tide near Felixstowe Ferry. 

Arriving on the scene, the crew discovered the sailor had been pulled from the water by a passing good Samaritan. 

The sailor was examined by an RNLI casualty care trained crew member but no further medical attention was required. 

The sailor and his dinghy were soon reunited ashore, and passed to the care of the Felixstowe Coastguard Rescue Team.

Helm Paul Griffin said: "The service was a classic example of the importance of wearing a lifejacket whenever you go afloat.

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"You never know when the unexpected will happen, but a lifejacket will keep you afloat, keep your airways clear of the water, reduce panic, and crucially give time for help to arrive. 

"If you happen to find yourself unexpectedly in the water without a lifejacket, simply float to live. 

"Fight your instincts to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and get your breathing under control. Only then call for help or swim to safety."

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