News West Mersea Lifeboat

Published on April 30th, 2017 | by West Mersea RNLI

Lifeboat News April 2017

West Mersea Lifeboat news.
by Leafy Dumas, Lifeboat Press Officer. April 2017

A busy few days and a sleepless night.

We’ve had a flurry of shouts and a busy time over the bank holiday weekend at West Mersea Lifeboat Station. Our launches are detailed day by day below.

Friday 28th April 2017
The West Mersea Lifeboat, Just George, launched at 1410 on Friday 28th April to two persons reported in the water off Stone near the village of St Lawrence.

Two people had got into difficulty whilst stepping from their yacht into a tender; transferring their weight, the tender capsized and the two sailors found themselves in the sea. Luckily a neighbouring yacht heard the brouhaha and came to their assistance along with the Stone Sailing Club rescue boat who carried the thoroughly soaked casualties ashore. Our lifeboat, Just George, attended the incident but as all was in hand we stood down and went back to the station.

Saturday 29th April 2017
The next day was Saturday and our lifeboat and crew attended an RNLI and Cadet Open Day at Stone Sailing Club, St. Lawrence, where we received a generous donation. Thank you very much to all the cruisers at the club who donated via their launching fees. It was a wonderful and busy spring day, with cakes and RNLI merchandise for sale, and children and families looking around our lifeboat and learning about the RNLI.

Photo: Carole Tailor from Stone Sailing Club presenting a donation cheque to Martin Wade, our Lifeboat Operations Manager, with our lifeboat, Just George, and Stone Sailing Club children in the background.

On the way home from Stone we were called to help a motor-cruiser in need of assistance. The motorboat was well and truly stuck having fouled both its propellers on a mooring in Mersea Quarters. Due to the strong tide, nothing could be done to free it at the time. We re-mustered in the evening, launched again when the tide was slack and managed to free the boat.

Sunday 30th April 2017
Later that night, at 0128am when we were all fast asleep in our beds, a mayday alert was received from a fishing boat near Packing Shed Island. Blurry-eyed and with pagers bleeping, we rushed through the night to the station, launching into the darkness to find a cold wet casualty on a fishing boat, and another on the marshes.

The two casualties had been returning to the shore in a little rubber dinghy when their outboard engine had run out of fuel. Marooned in the creeks in the middle of the night they decided to tie up to a withy. One of the men swam to a nearby fishing boat to find help and the other stayed with the dinghy. The swimmer reached the fishing boat, climbed aboard and used its radio to send a mayday alert. The withy proved not to be a strong mooring point and the man who stayed in the dinghy drifted away. We arrived on scene to find the swimmer aboard the fishing boat and dressed in the Captain’s clothes. We then went in search of his stranded companion who we found washed up on the marshes. We brought them both back to the station to be warmed up, and then went back to sea to recover their dinghy.

By now our stoic and selfless volunteer crew were in desperate want of their beds, but sleep was not to be. At 0300am the lifeboat was called again to attend the Strood after reports of a car in the water following a road traffic accident. Upon arrival at the Strood, the Coastguard confirmed the car did not actually enter the water and the lifeboat was stood down. The crew eventually got to bed as dawn broke.

Monday 1st May 2017
We launched at 1419hrs to a windsurfer in difficulty in the Blackwater. The windsurfer was in the water and unable to get back onto his board. The casualty was found mid-river, taken back to his launch point on the beach and handed over to the mobile coastguard. He was cold and tired, but conscious so no huge dramas. Once he was safely ashore we returned to the station.

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