Search

Fog hampers divers' rescue

PUBLISHED: 13:36 17 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:32 05 July 2010

A DRAMATIC rescue in deep fog led to nine divers being rescued by lifeboat crews from both Lowestoft and Southwold.

The crews, shrouded in fog, worked as darkness fell on Sunday to rescue the divers who were stranded 35 miles off Southwold after their boat Zeus had suffered engine failure.

A DRAMATIC rescue in deep fog led to nine divers being rescued by lifeboat crews from both Lowestoft and Southwold.

The crews, shrouded in fog, worked as darkness fell on Sunday to rescue the divers who were stranded 35 miles off Southwold after their boat Zeus had suffered engine failure.

The Spirit of Lowestoft lifeboat was already at sea for the crew's regular Sunday morning training exercise, when they were asked to help after coastguards had received a radio call from the Zeus at noon.

Coxswain John Fox said: “We went through patchy fog, which cleared before we reached them 33 miles and one-and-three-quarter hours later. The divers were all well so they stayed on their boat and we passed a towline to them.”

But Mr Fox revealed that the fog had soon started to set in again as the Lowestoft lifeboat set off for Southwold.

“It worsened towards the coast especially as darkness fell and at times we could only just see the Zeus at the end of the towrope,” he said.

The smaller Southwold inshore lifeboat went to sea to meet the Lowestoft craft just off the town. The diving boat was moored at Southwold Harbour after being towed by the Leslie Tranmer lifeboat through the shallow water at the harbour entrance.

“Lifeboat crews regularly train for such conditions by practising blind navigation,” Mr Fox added. “We do this on our Tyne all-weather lifeboat by closing curtains around the cabin and use laser plotting, GPS and radar to find our way as well as teaching traditional navigation.”

And with a crew of six on board, plus two new volunteers, the lifeboat training session on Sunday extended into more than nine hours at sea.

“This made it the longest Sunday practice I have known!” Mr Fox added.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Lowestoft Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists