Lowestoft lifeboat involved in dramatic rescue

THE Great Yarmouth Coastguard helped an RNLI lifeboat crew complete a dramatic rescue off Lowestoft with the aid of a link-call through to the French coastguard to help overcome a language barrier.

Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat was called out at 5.40pm last night to go to the aid of a 24-metre French trawler aground on a sandbank off Lowestoft.

An RNLI spokesman said: 'The lifeboat was able to pass a tow line to the trawler soon after it arrived on scene, but then had to wait for the tide to turn and for the depth of water to increase.

'About an hour and a half after the flood tide started an attempt was made to tow the casualty off the sandbank. Although only gentle power was use, the rope parted and the trawler remained aground.'

Throughout the rescue there was a language problem for the RNLI crew and Yarmouth Coastguard with the French crew speaking very little English.

But in what was described as 'a good example of international co-operation', Yarmouth Coastguards arranged a three-way link call through the Coastguard service at Cap Gris Nez in northern France to help overcome the problems.

The tow was reconnected and eventually the trawler refloated soon after 8pm and was pulled clear. The lifeboat escorted the vessel for a short distance before it continued southwards unaided.