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Both Clacton RNLI lifeboats join search for three children

Lifeboats News Release

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’.

‘We’d always advise people to play close attention to local conditions and tide tables when visiting the coast,’ he added.


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  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/ South East) Tel: (0207) 6207416 /07786 668825
  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
    0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 /
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland