CALL OUTS 2017

Assist Search for Missing Person

 19/09/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B825) & D Class (D723) Clacton RNLI Lifeboats launch to assist search for missing person The volunteer crew of Clacton RNLI's  lifeboats launched at 3am on Tuesday (19 September), to assist an ongoing search by UK Coastguard mobile units for a missing person. Arriving on scene, the crew of Damarkand IV, Clacton’s D Class inshore lifeboat, discovered the search had been in progress for an hour and the person was believed to have entered the water about 1am. With fears that the person could have been swept out to sea, along with the danger of hyperthermia since the person may have been in the water for two hours, the Helm of the D Class requested the launch of Clacton’s 85 inshore lifeboat, Norma Ethal Vinell, to assist. Concerns were compounded as the sea had been going out since midnight, which would produce a much larger search area. Working together the lifeboats comprehensively searched an area from just east of the pier to Cliff Road (approximately two miles to the east), and 150metres off the shoreline. Due to its shallow hull, the D Class concentrated on the rock breakwaters close in to the shore - just one the reasons why there has been a D Class stationed at Clacton since 1966 and why it is responsible for approximately a third of rescues carried out by the RNLI and their volunteer crews. The Atlantic 85 covered the larger open area in deeper water by zigzagging along a set course which allowed it to comprehensively search a large area quickly. On reaching Cliff Road the D Class was stood down, followed shortly by the Atlantic 85 at the request of UK Coastguard, happy that the area had been comprehensibly searched. Even though on this occasion nothing was found, we always take this type of call seriously and urge the public to call 999 and request the Coastguard if they see anyone in trouble at the coast, even if they are not 100% sure

The Good Samaritans

 05/09/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B825) Clacton RNLI lifeboat assists dive boat acting as a Good Samaritan at sea. The volunteer crew of Clacton’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat launched on Tuesday (5 September), to assist the crew of a dive boat which was attempting to tow a yacht into Brightlingsea harbour. The Good Samaritans, aboard the dive boat 'Pioneer', had taken the 26ft yacht on tow after it had got into difficulty, but due to sea conditions both vessels were struggling to make good time and risked being trapped by the falling tide outside of Brightlingsea. . The crew of the 'Pioneer' called for help and Clacton’s relief Atlantic 85 lifeboat 'Norma Ethel Vinall' launched at 4.45pm to meet up with the dive boat and take over the tow. The state of the sea was described as moderate with a Force 3 South Westerly wind. The lifeboat met up with the dive boat near the Swin Spitway (approximately five miles south of Lion Point Jaywick), where a RNLI crew member was placed on board the yacht and the tow taken over, allowing the dive boat to make it back to harbour safely before the tide changed. The 'Norma Ethal Vinall' proceeded to Brightlingsea harbour with the yacht on tow, but couldn’t enter due to a lack of water and had to tie up to a buoy and wait for the tide to turn. While tied up, the UK Coastguard contacted the Clacton lifeboat crew and requested them to check on the welfare of another yacht and its crew, which had gone aground in the Colne River estuary. A member of the lifeboat crew was left with the first yacht (which had been taken under tow) and it was tied to the buoy while the lifeboat left to attend to the second yacht. On arrival the yacht was discovered to be the 'Rosa Ryal' with three people on board. As nothing could be done to help until the tide changed and since the 'Rosa Ryal' was bound for Tollesbury, the crew of the West Mersea Lifeboat were requested to launch and assist the Rosa Ryal. The Clacton lifeboat waited for the arrival of the West Mersea lifeboat to make sure those on board stayed safe, before returning to the first yacht, and made ready to enter Brightlingsea harbour.

Search for Missing Children

 31/08/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B825) & D Class (D723) The volunteer crew of Clacton’s inshore D class lifeboat Damarkand IV launched yesterday evening (August 31) just after 8pm following a report from UK Coastguard of three children cut off by the tide. The alert followed reports that the children had been seen in difficulty swimming at the Martello Tower near the Bel Air campsite. Weather conditions were clear and calm, but with a receding tide there were fears the youngsters could be taken further out to sea. The Damarkand IV was joined in the search by Coastguard patrols on shore, UK Coastguard helicopter Rescue 163 and then by Clacton’s relief Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat. With failing light the volunteer crew of the Clacton D class lifeboat launched flares to light up the search area. They also used night sight equipment to help see in the dark. The lifeboats covered an area from Jaywick to St Osyth, paying particular attention to the breakwaters to see if the children had climbed onto them. Nothing was found and both boats were stood down by UK Coastguard at 9.40pm and returned to the lifeboat station. ‘Even though on this occasion nothing was found we always take reports of this type seriously,’ said crew member Richard Wigley. ‘Around 190 people drown in the UK and Ireland each year and one of the major causes is being cut off by the tide’. t‘We’d always advise people to play close attention to local conditions and tide tables when visiting the coast,’ he added.

Search for Missing Person

 24/08/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) The volunteer crew have just return from a service, their second of the day. The crew used the station's D Class lifeboat 'Damarkand iv' to conduct a search for a missing person as directed by Dover Coastguard along with coastguard mobile units conducting a shoreline search. Nothing was found and all units were stood down.

Engine Failure in Rough Sea

 18/08/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B825 - Relief) Takes just 4 days for RNLI's relief lifeboat (B-825) to undertake its first service while stationed at Clacton. At 10.40pm on Saturday 18th August, the Clacton-on-Sea RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew launched the Atlantic class lifeboat to the aid of a small cabin cruiser / speedboat with engine failure approximately 1/2 mile south of the town's golf course. The lifeboat was launched into a moderate to rough sea, with a 20mph westerly wind blowing. The crew quickly located the vessel with 2 persons on board. They had purchased the boat earlier in the day and were making their way to Brightlingsea from Harwich when the engine fell off. The engine was recovered but could not be restarted, that's when they called 999 for help. Due to the sea state, condition of the vessel, and the lack of any safety equipment it was deemed safest to tow them to Brightlingsea. A crew member was put aboard and a slow tow was commenced, arriving in Brightlingsea to the awaiting coastguard team from Clacton, who were able to assist with berthing and offer safety advice to the 2 occupants. The lifeboat was then stood down by Dover Coastguard and returned to station, arriving there at about 1.30am, where it was recovered and made ready for the next service.

33ft Yacht Aground

 05/08/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) For the third day in a row Clacton RNLI's volunteer crew were called into action again, this time to a 33ft yacht aground just outside the Whittaker Channel approximately 6 miles South West of the boathouse. The call came in at 17:25 on Saturday 5th August. The skipper was more than happy to sit and wait for the tide to rise, although when communications were lost between Dover Coastguard and the vessel it was decided to launch the lifeboat. The lifeboat checked on the well being of the yachts occupants and all was well so the volunteer crew awaited the tide until the yacht floated free of the sand bank. After the skipper had checked the vessel hadn't sustained any damage during the grounding, he was happy to continue on his journey towards Burnham on Crouch. The lifeboat was then stood down and returned to station.

Kite Surfer Drifting

 04/08/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) At 12:24 on Friday 4th August the volunteer crews pagers jumped into life once again. This time to launch the D class lifeboat after a kite surfer was spotted drifting out to sea. Whilst the crew were assembling the Council Beach Patrol team recovered the casualty from the water and placed him back on the beach. The lifeboat crew were going to launch and recover the kiting equipment although it was seen to be moving towards the beach with the SW wind pushing it. The crew stood by for 5 minutes until the kite hit the beach, and then they left the beach patrol team to return it to its owner!! The volunteer crew then returned to work.

Swimer in Difficulty

 03/08/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) At 12:24 on Friday 4th August the volunteer crews pagers jumped into life once again. This time to launch the D class lifeboat after a kite surfer was spotted drifting out to sea. Whilst the crew were assembling the Council Beach Patrol team recovered the casualty from the water and placed him back on the beach. The lifeboat crew were going to launch and recover the kiting equipment although it was seen to be moving towards the beach with the SW wind pushing it. The crew stood by for 5 minutes until the kite hit the beach, and then they left the beach patrol team to return it to its owner!! The volunteer crew then returned to work.

28ft Yacht on Rocks

 01/08/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) & D Class (D723) At 23:20 on Tuesday 1st August the volunteer crews pagers jumped into life, little did they know it was the start of a long night. Initially the D Class lifeboat launched with three crew aboard to a 28ft yacht hard aground on a rock breakwater with two persons on board approximately 1/4 mile South West of the boathouse. Upon arrival, it was clear further help was needed so the Atlantic 85 launched immediately as well as the Walton Lifeboat being on the way too. When the Atlantic arrived the D Class had put one crew member aboard to prepare the yachts crew for evacuation. The D Class then skilfully manoeuvred alongside the yacht on the rocks to evacuate the casualties one by one and transfer them to the larger Atlantic 85 lifeboat whilst Walton Lifeboat provided illumination on scene. They were then taken back to the boathouse to warm up. The volunteer crew then relaunched the lifeboats a couple of hours later to try and save the yacht as she floated free of the rocks. With two volunteer crew members aboard the yacht and a towline attached she started to take on water as the tide rose. The crew got the lifeboats salvage pump running but unfortunately the yacht was taking a beating from the weather and was taking on too much water to pump out. The decision was made for the safety of the volunteer crew, to retrieve the equipment and crew off the yacht and return to station. Since then unfortunately the yacht has been destroyed by the weather. Attached is a video of the rescue and a few still images of what's left. .

Missing Kayak

 18/06/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) Not long after the volunteer crew returned home from Sunday morning exercise, the pagers jumped into action once again at 13:54. Dover Coastguard paged the volunteer crew to launch the Atlantic 85 after receiving reports of an overdue kayak with two persons on board. The kayak was last seen heading off the beach at the bottom of 1st Avenue Holland at 10:50 this morning with the intention of paddling out to the Gunfleet Wind Farm, approximately four miles offshore. After not returning in nearly three hours, the rest of their party decided to call for help as they were unsure of their location and starting to worry about their welfare. The lifeboat made best speed towards 1st avenue where they would start a search from. During the journey, a volunteer crew member spotted a kayak approximately half a mile offshore, so the lifeboat changed course to investigate. Arriving on scene, and asking a few questions it was clear this was the correct couple we were searching for. The kayakers were more than happy after successfully paddling to the wind farm and back so the lifeboat was stood down leaving them to finish the last leg of their journey. Once the volunteer crew washed the boat down and made her ready for the next shout they returned home to enjoy the last of the weekend.

Fishing Vessel Broken Down

 17/06/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) With our volunteer crew relaxing after the last few shouts it wasn't long before they were called out again, in fact a matter of hours. The pagers jumped into life at 17:41, requesting the launch of the Atlantic 85, which was soon launched with a crew of four aboard. They were tasked to a 16-20ft fishing vessel which had broken down and required assistance approximately five miles south of the station. Once the crew arrived on scene it was established the casualty vessel and its two occupants had come out of Burnham Yacht Harbour. A towline was secured and the lifeboat proceeded towards the River Crouch, whilst the crew requested the assistance of Burnham Lifeboat. A little while later the two lifeboats met up and the tow was transferred allowing the Clacton Lifeboat to stand down and return to its station to be made ready for the next shout.

Out of Fuel

 17/06/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) & D Class (D723) Within minutes of launching the Atlantic 85 lifeboat to the first incident (below), another call for help came in. This time from a 21ft speedboat who had run out of fuel approximately one mile South of Clacton Pier with five persons on board. With the crew already on station the D Class lifeboat was launched with a crew of three aboard within minutes, and proceeded to the casualty vessels location. As the lifeboat arrived on scene one of the occupants aboard the vessel appeared to be suffering from seasickness where the vessel had been drifting. A crew member was put aboard the casualty vessel to set up a tow and monitor the casualty throughout the journey. The vessel had launched from West Mersea earlier in the day but it was decided to tow the vessel back to Brightlingsea Harbour where they could get some fuel and then carry on with their journey. The ILB towed the vessel for approximately three miles before the Atlantic 85 arrived on scene and took over the tow, completing the rest of the passage into Brightlingsea.

Person in Difficulty

 17/06/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) At 12:14 the Atlantic 85 was launched with a volunteer crew of four after Dover Coastguard received reports of a person in difficulty in the water at Hutleys Beach, Jaywick. The lifeboat arrived on scene minutes later and the casualty was now on the beach. Lifeboat crew were dropped ashore to assist with treating the casualty for cold water shock alongside the East of England Ambulance Service. Once the casualty was in a stable condition the crew helped the paramedics transfer the casualty across the beach and into the back of the ambulance. The lifeboat was then stood down from this incident and diverted to assist the ILB, see next tasking (above).

Speedboat Aground

 15/06/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) At 16:46 the volunteer crew were paged at the request of Clacton Coastguard to assist them with an 18ft speedboat that had gone aground on the beach at the nature reserve, St Osyth, after breaking down. The Atlantic 85 lifeboat launched with a crew of four on board and headed to the location knowing the tide was dropping. When they arrived on scene they attached a tow line and pulled the casualty vessel clear of the beach and checked on the well being of the occupants on board. With everyone ok the lifeboat proceeded into Brightlingsea Harbour with the vessel in tow and moored them at Morgan's, where the vessel had launched from. With the vessel safely alongside the lifeboat was stood down and returned to station.

Speedboat Aground with Engine Failure

 03/06/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) On Saturday 3rd June at 10:59, our volunteer crew were paged to go to the assistance of a 15ft speedboat with engine failure near Colne Point. Our Atlantic 85 was launched not long after and found the vessel aground on the beach. The casualty vessel with two persons on board was towed off the beach and into Brightlingsea harbour, where they had launched from. The lifeboat was then stood down and returned to station.

Yatch recovers drifting Tender

 31/05/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) On Wednesday, 31st May, our volunteer crew had a shout to recover a drifting tender which a yacht had recovered approximately 3 miles South East of our boathouse. The D Class lifeboat was launched with a crew of three and met up with the yacht approximately two miles East of the boathouse. The tender was recovered back to the lifeboat station and our volunteer crew returned to work.

Yatch with Fuel Leak

 27/05/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) Our Atlantic 85 was launched on service at 15:00 with four volunteer crew aboard to assist a 26ft yacht with a fuel leak. The yacht was located approximately one mile east of the Holland Haven radar mast with 2 persons on board. The casualty vessel was towed the 12 mile journey to Brightlingsea Harbour where she was moored for repairs.

Drifting Tender 9 Mile Out

 11/04/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) On Tuesday 11th April at 13:33 Dover Coastguard paged for the assistance of Clacton's Atlantic 85 Lifeboat and its volunteer crew after receiving reports of a drifting tender approximately 9 miles South East of the lifeboat station in the East Swin. The lifeboat launched with a volunteer crew of four and proceeded to the last known latitude and longitude. Upon arrival the tender was spotted by the crew, approximately a mile north at the Gunfleet Spit buoy. It was obvious the tender had been in the water for a long while and no sign of any use. The volunteer crew managed to get the tender aboard the lifeboat and return it back to the boathouse as it posed a hazard to navigation. The lifeboat recovered to its trailer back at Martello Bay around 14:30 and the crew returned to work.

Multiple Services attempt to Save man

 08/04/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) VOLUNTEER lifeboat crews were involved in an attempt to save a man who was pulled from water off St Osyth. Clacton RNLI’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat was called to the scene just off Lee-Over-Sands following a 999 call from a vessel to Dover Coastguard. It was reported that a 59-year-old man who had been on board was not responding after going into the water at about 1.13pm on Saturday, April 8. Within minutes the lifeboat had launched with a volunteer crew of four and made best speed to the scene, which was three miles south west of the boathouse. The lifeboat arrived on scene at the same time as Essex Police marine units, who were in the area. Two lifeboat crew members jumped aboard the police vessel and pulled the casualty from the water and commenced casualty care immediately while the police vessel and lifeboat made best speed for Brightlingsea Harbour, where other emergency services were on route to. The man, who was not breathing, was taken to hospital by the ambulance service, but attempted to save his life were sadly unsuccessful. The vessel and its three other occupants were towed to Brightlingsea by the other Essex Police marine unit vessel. A spokesman for Clacton RNLI said: “The thoughts of everyone at Clacton Lifeboat Station are with the friends and family of the man and those who were involved in the incident. “We would like to thank all the emergency services, including Clacton Coastguard, Walton Coastguard, Essex Police, the East of England Ambulance, First Responders, the Air Ambulance and Coastguard Rescue Helicopter, for their efforts” “It was heart-breaking that despite excellent teamwork from all the services involved that the man’s life could not be saved.”

Stood Down

 07/04/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) Our Volunteer Crew were paged at 21:47 this evening, but stood down shortly after.

21ft Vessel with Engine Failure

02/04/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) At approximately 11.42 on the 2nd April  at the request of Dover Coastguard, Clacton’s Atlantic 85 Lifeboat ‘David Porter MPS’ with 4 volunteer crew aboard was launched onto a smooth sea ,with a very light North Westerly breeze, to the aid of a  21ft vessel which had suffered engine failure.  A position was relayed to the crew from Dover Coastguard as supplied by the vessel in question. The position given, 2.5 N.Miles south of our Boathouse (Wallet No.3 Bouy), was quickly reached and the vessel, ‘Rascal’, was located with 2 persons on board. They had set out earlier in the day from Suffolk and were making their way to Kent when engine failure occurred.  With the consent of the occupants, a member of the lifeboat went aboard to help set up the tow and lift the anchor.  The newest crew member was then asked to set up the tow on the Lifeboat under the watchful eye of the helm as this would be good experience in the calm conditions. The Lifeboat then made for Brightlingsea with ‘Rascal’ in tow. On nearing Brightlingsea the Harbour Master was notified and made the ‘Hammer Head’ Jetty ready to receive both boats. ‘Rascal’ was put onto the Hammer Head and along with its crew were left in the safe hands of the Harbour Master, to make further enquiries with regards to having the engine problems rectified. The Lifeboat was then stood down by Dover Coastguard and returned to station, where it was refuelled and made ready  for service at 14.20. It was noted that the 2 persons on board ‘Rascal’ were wearing lifejackets and well prepared and equipped for their passage, which just goes to show that no matter how well prepared you are trouble can strike at any moment. By being prepared they were able to keep calm and request help easily, give the Coastguard their position, which allowed the Lifeboat to find them quickly and easily.

Stood Down

 28/03/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) Our volunteer crew were awoken to the sound of pagers at 02:09 this morning but stood down whilst getting kitted.

Kite Surfing Equipment Drifting

 18/03/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) Our D Class lifeboat launched on service at 12:56 today after reports of two kite surfers in difficulty approx half mile South of station. As the lifeboat launched it was made clear the two individuals had made it safely to the shore but their equipment was now drifting. After checking the two casualties were ok, the lifeboat returned to sea to deflate and recover their equipment and drop it to the beach. Unfortunately for the casualties, one kite surfing board could not be found, but other than that all was ok! The lifeboat was then stood down.

27ft Motor Vessel Aground

 16/03/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) At 17:53 our volunteer crew were paged to a 27ft motor vessel which had run aground on the Buxey Sands. Our Atlantic 85 lifeboat was launched with a crew of four, and found the vessel to be high and dry! The lifeboat stayed on scene until the vessel started to float at around 22:15, it was then towed clear of the Sands ready for the passage into Brightlingsea Harbour. With everything in working order, the towline was dropped and the lifeboat escorted the casualty vessel into Brightlingsea with a Crew member staying aboard the casualty boat to aid navigation into the harbour. At 00:30 the lifeboat was recovered and refuelled, before the Volunteer Crew returned home for some well deserved sleep.

Person in the Water under Pier

 10/03/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) Our volunteers pagers were activated at 17:52 after multiple 999 reports of a person in the water beneath Clacton Pier. Minutes later the D Class lifeboat launched with three crew and made best speed to the scene where a large crowd of people were on the pier. As the lifeboat got closer the people were pointing and shining torches to the casualty, who was partially submerged beneath the water. The crew plucked the casualty from the water before making best speed back towards the lifeboat station. The volunteer crew began to treat the casualty whilst the lifeboat was taken back to the boathouse where further emergency services awaited. The casualty was then handed over to the Ambulance Service and taken to hospital for treatment, Essex Police and Clacton Coastguards units also on scene. The lifeboat was then washed down, refuelled and made ready for its next service. The crew then returned home.

Stood Down

 07/03/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) Our crew were paged but stood down shortly after.

Police Request Assistance with Search

 04/03/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) This morning at 07:09 our Volunteer Crew’s pagers were activated after Essex Police requested assistance with a vulnerable male reported to be seen on the beach in Holland on Sea. Our Volunteer Crew launched the D Class lifeboat with three crew aboard, and began a shoreline search from Kings Avenue, Holland- on-Sea, heading North East along the coast alongside Clacton Coastguard and Essex Police. After approximately 40 minutes of searching the casualty was found by Essex Police in Frinton on Sea. All units were then stood down.

Concerns for Small Cruiser

 26/02/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) At 13:50 today Dover Coastguard activated the volunteer crews pagers after concerns were raised for a small cabin cruiser which looked to be in difficulty within Brightlingsea Harbour after it was seen not moving for approximately an hour. Our volunteer crew launched our Atlantic 85 Lifeboat with 4 crew aboard. On arrival a vessel matching the description was spotted close to the shoreline at Point Clear. After speaking to its occupants they were fine, just sitting at anchor awaiting their recovery vehicle and trailer to arrive. Due to the worsening weather conditions it was decided to help the occupants recover the vessel and then stand down and return to station.

Drifting Tender

 28/01/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) Our volunteer crew were paged to launch on service at 14:01 to assist Clacton Coastguard who were observing a drifting tender. Our Atlantic 85 lifeboat launched shortly after with a volunteer crew of three aboard and headed towards Holland-on-Sea. We recovered the tender and brought it back to station where we met Clacton Coastguards. Photo Credit: Archant

Stood Down

 22/01/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) Our crew were paged and put on immediate readiness this afternoon but stood down shortly after.

Search for Missing Person

 15/01/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) Our volunteer crew were paged to launch on service at 02:31 on Sunday 15th January after Essex police requested our assistance with a search for a missing person between Martello Bay, Clacton and Brightlingsea Harbour. Shortly after being paged our Atlantic 85 was launched on service with a volunteer crew of four aboard. They began a shoreline search outside our station alongside Clacton Coastguard and Essex Police proceeding West using both search lights and night sight equipment. After completing a thorough shoreline search to the entrance of Brightlingsea Harbour, with nothing found the lifeboat was stood down to return to station.

Danger of Going Adrift

 14/01/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) Our volunteer crew were paged at 01:07 this morning to assist emergency services in Jaywick after discovering a boat that was in danger of going adrift just after the high tide! The lifeboat waited on scene until Clacton Coastguard arrived and then stood down! Photo Credit: Archant
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CALL OUTS 2017

Assist Search for

Missing Person

 19/09/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B825) & D Class (D723) Clacton RNLI Lifeboats launch to assist search for missing person The volunteer crew of Clacton RNLI's  lifeboats launched at 3am on Tuesday (19 September), to assist an ongoing search by UK Coastguard mobile units for a missing person. Arriving on scene, the crew of Damarkand IV, Clacton’s D Class inshore lifeboat, discovered the search had been in progress for an hour and the person was believed to have entered the water about 1am. With fears that the person could have been swept out to sea, along with the danger of hyperthermia since the person may have been in the water for two hours, the Helm of the D Class requested the launch of Clacton’s 85 inshore lifeboat, Norma Ethal Vinell, to assist. Concerns were compounded as the sea had been going out since midnight, which would produce a much larger search area. Working together the lifeboats comprehensively searched an area from just east of the pier to Cliff Road (approximately two miles to the east), and 150metres off the shoreline. Due to its shallow hull, the D Class concentrated on the rock breakwaters close in to the shore - just one the reasons why there has been a D Class stationed at Clacton since 1966 and why it is responsible for approximately a third of rescues carried out by the RNLI and their volunteer crews. The Atlantic 85 covered the larger open area in deeper water by zigzagging along a set course which allowed it to comprehensively search a large area quickly. On reaching Cliff Road the D Class was stood down, followed shortly by the Atlantic 85 at the request of UK Coastguard, happy that the area had been comprehensibly searched. Even though on this occasion nothing was found, we always take this type of call seriously and urge the public to call 999 and request the Coastguard if they see anyone in trouble at the coast, even if they are not 100% sure

The Good

Samaritans

 05/09/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B825) Clacton RNLI lifeboat assists dive boat acting as a Good Samaritan at sea. The volunteer crew of Clacton’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat launched on Tuesday (5 September), to assist the crew of a dive boat which was attempting to tow a yacht into Brightlingsea harbour. The Good Samaritans, aboard the dive boat 'Pioneer', had taken the 26ft yacht on tow after it had got into difficulty, but due to sea conditions both vessels were struggling to make good time and risked being trapped by the falling tide outside of Brightlingsea. . The crew of the 'Pioneer' called for help and Clacton’s relief Atlantic 85 lifeboat 'Norma Ethel Vinall' launched at 4.45pm to meet up with the dive boat and take over the tow. The state of the sea was described as moderate with a Force 3 South Westerly wind. The lifeboat met up with the dive boat near the Swin Spitway (approximately five miles south of Lion Point Jaywick), where a RNLI crew member was placed on board the yacht and the tow taken over, allowing the dive boat to make it back to harbour safely before the tide changed. The 'Norma Ethal Vinall' proceeded to Brightlingsea harbour with the yacht on tow, but couldn’t enter due to a lack of water and had to tie up to a buoy and wait for the tide to turn. While tied up, the UK Coastguard contacted the Clacton lifeboat crew and requested them to check on the welfare of another yacht and its crew, which had gone aground in the Colne River estuary. A member of the lifeboat crew was left with the first yacht (which had been taken under tow) and it was tied to the buoy while the lifeboat left to attend to the second yacht. On arrival the yacht was discovered to be the 'Rosa Ryal' with three people on board. As nothing could be done to help until the tide changed and since the 'Rosa Ryal' was bound for Tollesbury, the crew of the West Mersea Lifeboat were requested to launch and assist the Rosa Ryal. The Clacton lifeboat waited for the arrival of the West Mersea lifeboat to make sure those on board stayed safe, before returning to the first yacht, and made ready to enter Brightlingsea harbour.

Search For Missing

Children

 31/08/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B825) & D Class (D723) The volunteer crew of Clacton’s inshore D class lifeboat Damarkand IV launched yesterday evening (August 31) just after 8pm following a report from UK Coastguard of three children cut off by the tide. The alert followed reports that the children had been seen in difficulty swimming at the Martello Tower near the Bel Air campsite. Weather conditions were clear and calm, but with a receding tide there were fears the youngsters could be taken further out to sea. The Damarkand IV was joined in the search by Coastguard patrols on shore, UK Coastguard helicopter Rescue 163 and then by Clacton’s relief Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat. With failing light the volunteer crew of the Clacton D class lifeboat launched flares to light up the search area. They also used night sight equipment to help see in the dark. The lifeboats covered an area from Jaywick to St Osyth, paying particular attention to the breakwaters to see if the children had climbed onto them. Nothing was found and both boats were stood down by UK Coastguard at 9.40pm and returned to the lifeboat station. ‘Even though on this occasion nothing was found we always take reports of this type seriously,’ said crew member Richard Wigley. ‘Around 190 people drown in the UK and Ireland each year and one of the major causes is being cut off by the tide’. t‘We’d always advise people to play close attention to local conditions and tide tables when visiting the coast,’ he added.

Search For Missing

Person

 24/08/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) The volunteer crew have just return from a service, their second of the day. The crew used the station's D Class lifeboat 'Damarkand iv' to conduct a search for a missing person as directed by Dover Coastguard along with coastguard mobile units conducting a shoreline search. Nothing was found and all units were stood down.

Engine Failure in

Rough Sea

 18/08/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B825 - Relief) Takes just 4 days for RNLI's relief lifeboat (B-825) to undertake its first service while stationed at Clacton. At 10.40pm on Saturday 18th August, the Clacton-on- Sea RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew launched the Atlantic class lifeboat to the aid of a small cabin cruiser / speedboat with engine failure approximately 1/2 mile south of the town's golf course. The lifeboat was launched into a moderate to rough sea, with a 20mph westerly wind blowing. The crew quickly located the vessel with 2 persons on board. They had purchased the boat earlier in the day and were making their way to Brightlingsea from Harwich when the engine fell off. The engine was recovered but could not be restarted, that's when they called 999 for help. Due to the sea state, condition of the vessel, and the lack of any safety equipment it was deemed safest to tow them to Brightlingsea. A crew member was put aboard and a slow tow was commenced, arriving in Brightlingsea to the awaiting coastguard team from Clacton, who were able to assist with berthing and offer safety advice to the 2 occupants. The lifeboat was then stood down by Dover Coastguard and returned to station, arriving there at about 1.30am, where it was recovered and made ready for the next service.

33ft Yacht Aground

 05/08/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) For the third day in a row Clacton RNLI's volunteer crew were called into action again, this time to a 33ft yacht aground just outside the Whittaker Channel approximately 6 miles South West of the boathouse. The call came in at 17:25 on Saturday 5th August. The skipper was more than happy to sit and wait for the tide to rise, although when communications were lost between Dover Coastguard and the vessel it was decided to launch the lifeboat. The lifeboat checked on the well being of the yachts occupants and all was well so the volunteer crew awaited the tide until the yacht floated free of the sand bank. After the skipper had checked the vessel hadn't sustained any damage during the grounding, he was happy to continue on his journey towards Burnham on Crouch. The lifeboat was then stood down and returned to station.

Kite Surfer Drifting

 04/08/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) At 12:24 on Friday 4th August the volunteer crews pagers jumped into life once again. This time to launch the D class lifeboat after a kite surfer was spotted drifting out to sea. Whilst the crew were assembling the Council Beach Patrol team recovered the casualty from the water and placed him back on the beach. The lifeboat crew were going to launch and recover the kiting equipment although it was seen to be moving towards the beach with the SW wind pushing it. The crew stood by for 5 minutes until the kite hit the beach, and then they left the beach patrol team to return it to its owner!! The volunteer crew then returned to work.

Swimmer in

Difficulty

 03/08/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) At 08:33 on Thursday 3rd August Dover Coastguard paged for the assistance of the Clacton RNLI volunteer crew after receiving a 999 call stating there was a swimmer in difficulty just off the lifeboat station. Weather conditions on scene were wind blowing SW Force 6 gusting Force 7 and a sea state as rough, it was going to be a lumpy ride for the D class and it's volunteer crew of three! The swimmer had gone out from the beach outside the boathouse as a group of four, but as they reached the end of the rock breakwater one swimmer was swept away by the wind and tide and there was no way back. The other three swimmers made it ashore and made the 999 call. The lifeboat launched and began a search from Martello heading East towards the pier. Minutes later an individual was spotted walking along the promenade so they were approached by RNLI Shorecrew and confirmed this was the swimmer who was swept away. No medical attention was required, she used the tide to its advantage and went with it, slowly making headway for the beach, exiting the water approximately 1/4 mile further down. With everyone happy the lifeboat was stood down and returned to station.

28ft Yacht on

Rocks

 01/08/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) & D Class (D723) At 23:20 on Tuesday 1st August the volunteer crews pagers jumped into life, little did they know it was the start of a long night. Initially the D Class lifeboat launched with three crew aboard to a 28ft yacht hard aground on a rock breakwater with two persons on board approximately 1/4 mile South West of the boathouse. Upon arrival, it was clear further help was needed so the Atlantic 85 launched immediately as well as the Walton Lifeboat being on the way too. When the Atlantic arrived the D Class had put one crew member aboard to prepare the yachts crew for evacuation. The D Class then skilfully manoeuvred alongside the yacht on the rocks to evacuate the casualties one by one and transfer them to the larger Atlantic 85 lifeboat whilst Walton Lifeboat provided illumination on scene. They were then taken back to the boathouse to warm up. The volunteer crew then relaunched the lifeboats a couple of hours later to try and save the yacht as she floated free of the rocks. With two volunteer crew members aboard the yacht and a towline attached she started to take on water as the tide rose. The crew got the lifeboats salvage pump running but unfortunately the yacht was taking a beating from the weather and was taking on too much water to pump out. The decision was made for the safety of the volunteer crew, to retrieve the equipment and crew off the yacht and return to station. Since then unfortunately the yacht has been destroyed by the weather. Attached is a video of the rescue and a few still images of what's left.

Missing Kayak

 18/06/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) Not long after the volunteer crew returned home from Sunday morning exercise, the pagers jumped into action once again at 13:54. Dover Coastguard paged the volunteer crew to launch the Atlantic 85 after receiving reports of an overdue kayak with two persons on board. The kayak was last seen heading off the beach at the bottom of 1st Avenue Holland at 10:50 this morning with the intention of paddling out to the Gunfleet Wind Farm, approximately four miles offshore. After not returning in nearly three hours, the rest of their party decided to call for help as they were unsure of their location and starting to worry about their welfare. The lifeboat made best speed towards 1st avenue where they would start a search from. During the journey, a volunteer crew member spotted a kayak approximately half a mile offshore, so the lifeboat changed course to investigate. Arriving on scene, and asking a few questions it was clear this was the correct couple we were searching for. The kayakers were more than happy after successfully paddling to the wind farm and back so the lifeboat was stood down leaving them to finish the last leg of their journey. Once the volunteer crew washed the boat down and made her ready for the next shout they returned home to enjoy the last of the weekend.

Fishing Vessel

Broken Down

 17/06/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) With our volunteer crew relaxing after the last few shouts it wasn't long before they were called out again, in fact a matter of hours. The pagers jumped into life at 17:41, requesting the launch of the Atlantic 85, which was soon launched with a crew of four aboard. They were tasked to a 16-20ft fishing vessel which had broken down and required assistance approximately five miles south of the station. Once the crew arrived on scene it was established the casualty vessel and its two occupants had come out of Burnham Yacht Harbour. A towline was secured and the lifeboat proceeded towards the River Crouch, whilst the crew requested the assistance of Burnham Lifeboat. A little while later the two lifeboats met up and the tow was transferred allowing the Clacton Lifeboat to stand down and return to its station to be made ready for the next shout.

Out of Fuel

 17/06/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) D Class (D723) Within minutes of launching the Atlantic 85 lifeboat to the first incident (below), another call for help came in. This time from a 21ft speedboat who had run out of fuel approximately one mile South of Clacton Pier with five persons on board. With the crew already on station the D Class lifeboat was launched with a crew of three aboard within minutes, and proceeded to the casualty vessels location. As the lifeboat arrived on scene one of the occupants aboard the vessel appeared to be suffering from seasickness where the vessel had been drifting. A crew member was put aboard the casualty vessel to set up a tow and monitor the casualty throughout the journey. The vessel had launched from West Mersea earlier in the day but it was decided to tow the vessel back to Brightlingsea Harbour where they could get some fuel and then carry on with their journey. The ILB towed the vessel for approximately three miles before the Atlantic 85 arrived on scene and took over the tow, completing the rest of the passage into Brightlingsea.

Person in Difficulty

 17/06/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) At 12:14 the Atlantic 85 was launched with a volunteer crew of four after Dover Coastguard received reports of a person in difficulty in the water at Hutleys Beach, Jaywick. The lifeboat arrived on scene minutes later and the casualty was now on the beach. Lifeboat crew were dropped ashore to assist with treating the casualty for cold water shock alongside the East of England Ambulance Service. Once the casualty was in a stable condition the crew helped the paramedics transfer the casualty across the beach and into the back of the ambulance. The lifeboat was then stood down from this incident and diverted to assist the ILB, see next tasking (above).

Speedboat

Aground

 15/06/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) At 16:46 the volunteer crew were paged at the request of Clacton Coastguard to assist them with an 18ft speedboat that had gone aground on the beach at the nature reserve, St Osyth, after breaking down. The Atlantic 85 lifeboat launched with a crew of four on board and headed to the location knowing the tide was dropping. When they arrived on scene they attached a tow line and pulled the casualty vessel clear of the beach and checked on the well being of the occupants on board. With everyone ok the lifeboat proceeded into Brightlingsea Harbour with the vessel in tow and moored them at Morgan's, where the vessel had launched from. With the vessel safely alongside the lifeboat was stood down and returned to station.

Speedboat

Aground with

Engine Failure

 03/06/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) On Saturday 3rd June at 10:59, our volunteer crew were paged to go to the assistance of a 15ft speedboat with engine failure near Colne Point. Our Atlantic 85 was launched not long after and found the vessel aground on the beach. The casualty vessel with two persons on board was towed off the beach and into Brightlingsea harbour, where they had launched from. The lifeboat was then stood down and returned to station.

Yatch recovers

dirfting Tender

 31/05/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) On Wednesday, 31st May, our volunteer crew had a shout to recover a drifting tender which a yacht had recovered approximately 3 miles South East of our boathouse. The D Class lifeboat was launched with a crew of three and met up with the yacht approximately two miles East of the boathouse. The tender was recovered back to the lifeboat station and our volunteer crew returned to work.

Yatch with Fuel

Leak

 27/05/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) Our Atlantic 85 was launched on service at 15:00 with four volunteer crew aboard to assist a 26ft yacht with a fuel leak. The yacht was located approximately one mile east of the Holland Haven radar mast with 2 persons on board. The casualty vessel was towed the 12 mile journey to Brightlingsea Harbour where she was moored for repairs.

Drifting Tender 9

Miles Out

 11/04/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) On Tuesday 11th April at 13:33 Dover Coastguard paged for the assistance of Clacton's Atlantic 85 Lifeboat and its volunteer crew after receiving reports of a drifting tender approximately 9 miles South East of the lifeboat station in the East Swin. The lifeboat launched with a volunteer crew of four and proceeded to the last known latitude and longitude. Upon arrival the tender was spotted by the crew, approximately a mile north at the Gunfleet Spit buoy. It was obvious the tender had been in the water for a long while and no sign of any use. The volunteer crew managed to get the tender aboard the lifeboat and return it back to the boathouse as it posed a hazard to navigation. The lifeboat recovered to its trailer back at Martello Bay around 14:30 and the crew returned to work.

Multiple Services

attempt to Save

man

 08/04/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) VOLUNTEER lifeboat crews were involved in an attempt to save a man who was pulled from water off St Osyth. Clacton RNLI’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat was called to the scene just off Lee-Over-Sands following a 999 call from a vessel to Dover Coastguard. It was reported that a 59-year-old man who had been on board was not responding after going into the water at about 1.13pm on Saturday, April 8. Within minutes the lifeboat had launched with a volunteer crew of four and made best speed to the scene, which was three miles south west of the boathouse. The lifeboat arrived on scene at the same time as Essex Police marine units, who were in the area. Two lifeboat crew members jumped aboard the police vessel and pulled the casualty from the water and commenced casualty care immediately while the police vessel and lifeboat made best speed for Brightlingsea Harbour, where other emergency services were on route to. The man, who was not breathing, was taken to hospital by the ambulance service, but attempted to save his life were sadly unsuccessful. The vessel and its three other occupants were towed to Brightlingsea by the other Essex Police marine unit vessel. A spokesman for Clacton RNLI said: “The thoughts of everyone at Clacton Lifeboat Station are with the friends and family of the man and those who were involved in the incident. “We would like to thank all the emergency services, including Clacton Coastguard, Walton Coastguard, Essex Police, the East of England Ambulance, First Responders, the Air Ambulance and Coastguard Rescue Helicopter, for their efforts” “It was heart-breaking that despite excellent teamwork from all the services involved that the man’s life could not be saved.”

Stood Down

 07/04/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) Our Volunteer Crew were paged at 21:47 this evening, but stood down shortly after.

21ft Vessel with

Engine Failure

02/04/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) At approximately 11.42 on the morning on April 2nd at the request of Dover Coastguard, Clacton's Atlantic 85 'David Porter MPS' with 4 crew members aboard was launched on to a calm sea with a gentle North Westerly breeze blowing, to the aid of a 21ft pleasure craft which had suffered engine failure. The Lifeboat quickly reached the position relayed by the Coastguard and found the pleasure boat 'Rascal' with 2 people on board, on passage from Suffolk to Kent. With the consent of the occupants a member of the lifeboat crew went aboard to help raise the anchor and set up a tow. The Lifeboat then made for Brightlingsea with 'Rascal' in tow and on nearing the Harbour Master was contacted and made aware of the situation, who prepared a space on the 'Hammerhead' for 'Rascal' 'Rascal' and her crew were berthed and left in the safe hands of the harbour master in order to make further enquiries with regards to having the engine problem fixed. The Lifeboat was then stood down by Dover Coastguard and returned to station, where it was refuelled and made ready for service at 14.20. It was noted that the 2 persons on board 'Rascal' were wearing lifejackets, well prepared and equipped for this passage, which goes to show it could happen to anyone anytime. By being prepared they were able to stay calm, call for help and give an accurate position, which allowed the lifeboat to locate them quickly and easily.

Stood Down

 28/03/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) Our volunteer crew were awoken to the sound of pagers at 02:09 this morning but stood down whilst getting kitted.

Kite Surfing

Equipment Drifting

 18/03/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) Our D Class lifeboat launched on service at 12:56 today after reports of two kite surfers in difficulty approx half mile South of station. As the lifeboat launched it was made clear the two individuals had made it safely to the shore but their equipment was now drifting. After checking the two casualties were ok, the lifeboat returned to sea to deflate and recover their equipment and drop it to the beach. Unfortunately for the casualties, one kite surfing board could not be found, but other than that all was ok! The lifeboat was then stood down.

27ft Motor Vessel

Aground

 16/03/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) At 17:53 our volunteer crew were paged to a 27ft motor vessel which had run aground on the Buxey Sands. Our Atlantic 85 lifeboat was launched with a crew of four, and found the vessel to be high and dry! The lifeboat stayed on scene until the vessel started to float at around 22:15, it was then towed clear of the Sands ready for the passage into Brightlingsea Harbour. With everything in working order, the towline was dropped and the lifeboat escorted the casualty vessel into Brightlingsea with a Crew member staying aboard the casualty boat to aid navigation into the harbour. At 00:30 the lifeboat was recovered and refuelled, before the Volunteer Crew returned home for some well deserved sleep.

Person in the

Water under Pier

 10/03/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) Our volunteers pagers were activated at 17:52 after multiple 999 reports of a person in the water beneath Clacton Pier. Minutes later the D Class lifeboat launched with three crew and made best speed to the scene where a large crowd of people were on the pier. As the lifeboat got closer the people were pointing and shining torches to the casualty, who was partially submerged beneath the water. The crew plucked the casualty from the water before making best speed back towards the lifeboat station. The volunteer crew began to treat the casualty whilst the lifeboat was taken back to the boathouse where further emergency services awaited. The casualty was then handed over to the Ambulance Service and taken to hospital for treatment, Essex Police and Clacton Coastguards units also on scene. The lifeboat was then washed down, refuelled and made ready for its next service. The crew then returned home.

Stood Down

 07/03/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) Our crew were paged but stood down shortly after.

Police Request

Assistance with

Search

 04/03/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) This morning at 07:09 our Volunteer Crew’s pagers were activated after Essex Police requested assistance with a vulnerable male reported to be seen on the beach in Holland on Sea. Our Volunteer Crew launched the D Class lifeboat with three crew aboard, and began a shoreline search from Kings Avenue, Holland-on-Sea, heading North East along the coast alongside Clacton Coastguard and Essex Police. After approximately 40 minutes of searching the casualty was found by Essex Police in Frinton on Sea. All units were then stood down.

Concerns for Small Cruiser

 26/02/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) At 13:50 today Dover Coastguard activated the volunteer crews pagers after concerns were raised for a small cabin cruiser which looked to be in difficulty within Brightlingsea Harbour after it was seen not moving for approximately an hour. Our volunteer crew launched our Atlantic 85 Lifeboat with 4 crew aboard. On arrival a vessel matching the description was spotted close to the shoreline at Point Clear. After speaking to its occupants they were fine, just sitting at anchor awaiting their recovery vehicle and trailer to arrive. Due to the worsening weather conditions it was decided to help the occupants recover the vessel and then stand down and return to station.

Drifting Tender

 28/01/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) Our volunteer crew were paged to launch on service at 14:01 to assist Clacton Coastguard who were observing a drifting tender. Our Atlantic 85 lifeboat launched shortly after with a volunteer crew of three aboard and headed towards Holland-on-Sea. We recovered the tender and brought it back to station where we met Clacton Coastguards. Photo Credit: Archant

Stood Down

 22/01/2017 Boat: D Class (D723) Our crew were paged and put on immediate readiness this afternoon but stood down shortly after.

Search for Missing Person

 15/01/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) Our volunteer crew were paged to launch on service at 02:31 on Sunday 15th January after Essex police requested our assistance with a search for a missing person between Martello Bay, Clacton and Brightlingsea Harbour. Shortly after being paged our Atlantic 85 was launched on service with a volunteer crew of four aboard. They began a shoreline search outside our station alongside Clacton Coastguard and Essex Police proceeding West using both search lights and night sight equipment. After completing a thorough shoreline search to the entrance of Brightlingsea Harbour, with nothing found the lifeboat was stood down to return to station.

Danger of Going Adrift

 14/01/2017 Boat: Atlantic 85 (B863) Our volunteer crew were paged at 01:07 this morning to assist emergency services in Jaywick after discovering a boat that was in danger of going adrift just after the high tide! The lifeboat waited on scene until Clacton Coastguard arrived and then stood down! Photo Credit: Archant
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