Published on May 4th, 2017 | by West Mersea RNLI
Lifeboat News May 2017
West Mersea Lifeboat news.
by Leafy Dumas, Lifeboat Press Officer. May 2017
Open Station, a Shout and a Coffee Morning.
Spring has sprung and the Lifeboat Station is now open to visitors on weekends and bank holidays. We will be opening every weekend throughout the summer until October. Do come and visit us. We open from 11.30am until 4pm. You can have a good look around and get right up close to our lifeboat, Just George, and also see our mighty launching tractor. Peep through the door into our crew room and see where we get dressed into our seagoing kit (you’ll see rows of RNLI yellow wellies, drysuits, lifejackets and helmets all lined up ready for the next shout). You can also browse our station shop, full to bursting with all manner of RNLI trinkets, cards and gifts including children’s yellow RNLI wellies and crab fishing kit.
Our last shout was on Monday 10th April. We launched at 0705; low water and an early start. It’s always an extra challenge launching at very low tides because the hard is not always hard right down at its lowest point. There are hidden holes and areas of extra squishiness; it’s very easy to lose the hard entirely and for the boat and tractor to get stuck. Luckily our tractor driver rose to the occasion and, steering with precision and skill, the boat was launched with speed and aplomb.
We were tasked to assist a gentleman on a broken down motorboat in the river, and after picking our way tentatively through The Gut we roared out to sea in search of him. We learnt later that despite being in desperate need of assistance, our casualty had kindly waited until morning to call us. His was a calamitous tale highlighting the importance of always being prepared when you go to sea. Our casualty had left Brightlingsea the morning before for a happy couple of hours fishing but his 2 hour trip somehow turned into 24. By all accounts his first couple of hours at sea were indeed happy; it was a glorious day, he caught some fish, explored the river, had a look at the Ross Revenge (the Radio Caroline ship), but the day drew on and at some point he lost his bearings and his engine started to fail. Unable to find his way home, and with darkness falling, an unreliable engine and anchor failure, he picked up a mooring and waited the night out. Setting off again at first light, he found he was still lost and his smoke-belching engine was no better. We found him adrift mid river and towed him back to Mersea. After a bit of rest and recovery in the station his wife came by road to pick him up, bringing much needed meds and a kiss on the head.
There is an RNLI coffee morning to be held at the West Mersea Yacht Club on the 19th May from 10am until noon, to raise funds for the West Mersea Lifeboat. Entry is £5 to include coffee (and a refill) and a piece of cake. There will be cakes to buy and a selection of RNLI merchandise will also be available. Everyone is welcome.