Search

Model airplane crash sparks emergency response from lifeboats and coastguards

PUBLISHED: 11:53 26 September 2018 | UPDATED: 11:53 26 September 2018

The model aircraft picked up by Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat crew. Picture: James Tacon

The model aircraft picked up by Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat crew. Picture: James Tacon

Archant

It was a coastguard callout which had all the hallmarks of a dramatic rescue in the making.

The sizeable model aircraft recovered by Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat crew. Picture: Mick HowesThe sizeable model aircraft recovered by Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat crew. Picture: Mick Howes

But when Pakefield Coastwatch received a shout on Tuesday telling them a microlight had plunged into the sea, it wasn’t quite what it seemed.

The volunteer organisation, which scours the shoreline near Lowestoft, received a call at around 12.30pm from the Humber Coastguard asking for their help.

The Lowestoft Lifeboat was also scrambled from the town’s harbour, and set off towards the potential crash site.

But, with the help of some useful local knowledge and experience, it was quickly established that the troubled plane was nothing more than a model aircraft that had crashed.

The Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat crew searching off Pakefield. Picture: Mick HowesThe Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat crew searching off Pakefield. Picture: Mick Howes

Steve Gowler, 70, was the coastwatchman on duty when the call came in.

He said: “I had seen a model airplane flying around, and there is a field near the back of Pontins and strangely in the summer of 2017 we had a model airplane crash into the sea which we had seen go down before it washed up on the beach.

“We have got a powerful set of binoculars through which we can see the names of boats miles out to see, and I started looking around in the area.”

He added: “I saw the model airplane floating in the water and I rang the guy back and I told him where it was, about 200 yards off the beach.

“I told him the size and it had a four foot wingspan which I based on the fact there was a gull sat on the wing in the wreckage.

“The lifeboat pretty much went straight to it and hooked it out of the water.”

The Lowestoft RNLI relief lifeboat, RNLB Cosandra, had been paged at 12.40pm to search for the mystery object.

Senior fleet staff coxswain, Andrew Mchaffie, said: “When we arrived at the position of the sighting our volunteer crew soon spotted something colourful floating just below the surface about 200 yards offshore.

“We used our boat hook and brought the object onto the lifeboat and discovered it was the remains of a sizeable model aircraft.

“There was additional debris in the water as the model had broken up into several bits which we recovered to make sure that the rest of the area was cleared and then we were released to return to station.”

The Pakefield Coastwatch is a charity which looks after the coastline and maintains the Pakefield lighthouse. They need 42 people to cover a watch, which they do each day from 8am until 8pm, all year round.

For more information on how to get involved or to donate, visit their website at www.pakefieldcoastwatch.co.uk

Other news

Yesterday, 16:25

A man has appeared in court having been charged with stealing a marked police van among a raft of other offences.

Yesterday, 15:24

A 22-year-old woman killed in a car crash on the A12 was the front-seat passenger in a car involved in the accident, an inquest has heard.

Yesterday, 14:25

Serious safety incidents led to 35 deaths at the region’s mental health trust over a six month period, figures have revealed.

Yesterday, 13:58

Two HR masterclasses taking place this month will focus on retaining and engaging staff in a bid to battle the UK skills shortage.

Most Read

Yesterday, 16:25

A man has appeared in court having been charged with stealing a marked police van among a raft of other offences.

Read more
Ipswich Crown Court
Friday, October 16, 2015

A Lowestoft beautician disfigured in an acid attack orchestrated by her controlling ex-boyfriend has said “my life will never be the same” as he was jailed for life.

Read more
Adele Bellis
Yesterday, 10:05

Witnesses are being sought after a teenage girl was punched in the face by a man.

Read more
Suffolk police
Thursday, February 15, 2018

A Lowestoft man serving a life sentence for arranging a savage acid attack on his ex-girlfriend has failed in a bid to clear his name.

Read more
Lowestoft
Yesterday, 15:24

A 22-year-old woman killed in a car crash on the A12 was the front-seat passenger in a car involved in the accident, an inquest has heard.

Read more
Addenbrooke's Hospital

Winter Wonderland

cover

Click here to view
the Autumn
Supplement

View

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 7°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Lowestoft Journal weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy