Border Force alerted after lifeboat recovers abandoned dinghy

The Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat recovers the abandoned rib.

The Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat recovers the abandoned rib. Picture: Philip Holdsworth/RNLI - Credit: Philip Holdsworth/RNLI

A lifeboat crew recovered an abandoned dinghy that was adrift miles out to sea.

After a Lowestoft-based fishing boat had found the 16ft inflatable rib that was drifting offshore, a lifeboat crew was alerted to recover the empty dinghy and bring it back to the harbour.

The Lowestoft RNLI lifeboat was called out at 2.51pm on Thursday, February 25 at the request of the UK Coastguard to recover the dinghy that had been taken in tow by the fishing boat.

A Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat crew member with the empty rib.

A Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat crew member with the empty rib. Picture: Thomas Rashbrook RNLI - Credit: Thomas Rashbrook RNLI

Lowestoft lifeboat deputy second coxswain Philip Holdsworth said: “We were told that an abandoned small boat had been found by a fishing vessel that was 16-miles south east of the harbour and we headed to rendezvous with them

"On arrival we discovered that the dinghy was a 16-foot long Inflatable rib.


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"There were some personal belongings, clothes, food and a fuel can still on board and evidence of where an outboard motor had been fixed.

Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat towing the empty dinghy.

Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat towing the empty dinghy. Picture: Thomas Rashbrook/RNLI - Credit: Thomas Rashbrook/RNLI 

"We attached a towline and in a flat calm sea began to tow the rib but it was too weak and kept pulling apart.

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"So we carefully collected the contents and transferred them onto the lifeboat before deflating the rib and lifting it onto the deck as well."

The deputy second coxswain said: "The rib was classed as a navigational hazard and had we not recovered it we could have been called out to it another time.

The abandoned dinghy.

The abandoned dinghy. Picture: Thomas Rashbrook RNLI - Credit: Thomas Rashbrook RNLI

"Border Force had been made aware of the discovery and they are coming to collect the deflated rib.”

Border Force have been approached for comment.

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