Busy year for lifeboat crews in Suffolk

Lowestoft lifeboat Patsy Knight. Picture: MICK HOWES/RNLI

Lowestoft lifeboat Patsy Knight. Picture: MICK HOWES/RNLI - Credit: Archant

Lifeboat crews were kept busy with 61 rescue missions along the Suffolk coast in the past year, figures released by the RNLI have revealed.

Suffolk's three lifeboat stations in Lowestoft, Southwold and Aldeburgh launched on 61 rescue missions, rescuing a total of 67 people - with two given first aid for their injuries.

Lowestoft was the busiest station in Suffolk, launching 34 times and rescuing 44 people, with the arrival of their new Shannon class lifeboat Patsy Knight - the latest lifeboat in the RNLI's fleet - helping voluntees to respond more quickly to incidents as the boat is capable of much faster speeds.

Gareth Morrison, life-saving delivery manager for the RNLI, said: 'Yet again our volunteers have had a very busy 12 months.

'2014 was the warmest year on record for the UK, but conversely the winter storms of January and February brought damaging winds

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and inland and coastal flooding. The former may well have enticed more people on to our beaches and into the water, while the latter no doubt made conditions worse for anyone on or near the sea.

'Our message is that we will always launch to assist people in distress, but we are also increasingly encouraging people to be mindful of the potential dangers associated with the sea.'

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Notable rescues in the past year included one in March, where Southwold and Lowestoft crews were involved in a search for a missing man spotted entering the sea.

He was located on shore in the Rectory Road area of Lowestoft, where ambulance staff were treating him.

He was subsequently taken to hospital complaining of chest pains and the coastguard and lifeboats were stood down.

And in January, Lowestoft lifeboat volunteers went to the aid of a crew aboard a burning boat which sank in the North Sea.

The vessel's crew abandoned ship and were rescued by the RNLI. The dramatic rescue was captured on film.

Mr Morrison added: 'With our lifeboats, lifeguards and safety messaging, the RNLI provides a ring of safety from the beach right out to the open seas.

'However, the training and equipment needed to do this costs money, so we are hugely grateful to everyone who supports in whatever way they can.'

Have you got a story? Email: lowestoft.journal@archant.co.uk

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