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Seven saved in rescue dramas

PUBLISHED: 15:19 13 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:26 03 March 2010

SEVEN people have cause to thank Suffolk coastguards today following a day of drama in the water.

In a freak rush of events, coastguards were called into action four times in two hours in the Suffolk seas to attend to a stricken surfer, yachtsmen and jet-skiers.

SEVEN people have cause to thank Suffolk coastguards today following a day of drama in the water.

In a freak rush of events, coastguards were called into action four times in two hours in the Suffolk seas to attend to a stricken surfer, yachtsmen and jet-skiers.

They were also involved in a search for a missing vessel that had failed to arrive at its intended destination.

The first call was to a kite surfer who was stranded off Landguard Point, near Felixstowe, at 2pm yesterday.

The Volunteer Inshore Lifeboat from Felixstowe attended the man, who was unable to get back to dry land, after monitoring the situation for some time.

First coxswain of the vessel John Cresswell said: "We don't like to go straight out in these type of situations just in case the man is OK. But it became clear that this person was stranded.

"When we arrived he was very thankful and we helped in back to the shore."

Kite surfing is a new craze that has hit the UK this year. The surfer attaches a kite to the board to help lift them up and over the waves – but can have its dangers when the wind stops or changes direction.

Just as the Volunteer was coming back to base it was called out to search for a missing vessel that had failed to arrive at its intended destination of Ramsholt, near Woodbridge, on the River Deben.

The boat, which had left Folkestone in Kent, earlier in the day, was thought to be missing. Other yachts and boats in the Suffolk, Essex and Kent are of the North Sea were asked to look out for the vessel, and the Volunteer patrolled the area from Harwich to the River Deben.

However, it emerged that the captain of the boat had decided to dock at Shotley and had failed to report to the coastguard.

While searching the River Deben, the Volunteer crew rescued two men who were stranded on a broken jet-ski.

"We were looking for this missing vessel and came across these two men stranded," said Mr Cresswell. Their jet-ski had caught a lot of mud and had stopped working and they seemed pretty stuck.

"They two men were from Cambridge and aged in the forties. They were very sensible guys."

They were given a tow-line and were taken back to their starting point at Felixstowe Ferry.

While these incidents were occurring, Thames Coastguards were involved in a rescue of a family off the coast of Bawdsey.

At 3.36pm they received a call to notify them that a yacht, Baleen, was stranded a mile offshore after it lost its mast. The vessel also had engine problems and was drifting further away from the shore.

Two other yachts were put on standby until the Harwich All-Weather Lifeboat attended the scene to two the yacht to safety at Shotley Marina.

Thames Coastguard Watch Officer, Colin Ingram, said: "All in all it was a busy weekend. The incident where the mast snapped was quite serious and the yacht was pretty stranded. But all the crews involved in all of the rescues did their jobs superbly."

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