Levington: Family of four lost in fog as fishing trip goes awry

IPSWICH: Amateur sailors were today warned to stay safe on the water after a family of four had to be rescued from the river when thick fog closed in around them.

The Ipswich family was out fishing in a 7ft open day cabin boat on the River Orwell on Saturday when fog set in.

Despite trying to get back to shore, the group, which included two boys aged nine and 12, became disoriented in the heavy fog and had to call for help.

Thames Coastguard sent the Harwich inshore lifeboat to find them, and they were brought to safety at Suffolk Yacht Harbour in Levington, before members of Felixstowe coastguard took them home by 10pm.

No one was hurt in the incident, but John Cresswell, chairman of the Felixstowe volunteer coast patrol, said it was a chilling reminder of the need to take every available precaution.

He said: “The water is really starting to get cold, and when you get cold water you get fog.

“People just need to be aware of the forecast before they go afloat, know what the tides are doing and how the weather is changing.

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“Unfortunately a lot of people go afloat and they’re not equipped for these conditions.

“It’s quite scary to be out in the fog, especially if you happen to be in the fairway because you’re not going to be aware of any large vessels coming towards you, and they’re not going to see you.”

He recommends informing the coastguard of your intentions, and going equipped with flares, life jackets and warm clothing.

n A small dinghy broke down at 3.15pm yesterday with two people aboard, but was safely towed back in to Ipswich docks.

n Were you the family lost in fog? Pay tribute to your rescuers by calling 01473 324788 or e-mailing starnews@eveningstar.co.uk