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Clacton RNLI lifeboat assists dive boat acting as a Good Samaritan at sea.

Lifeboats News Release

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.

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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 RNLI Mersea Lifeboat were requested to launch and assist the Rosa Ryal. The Clacton lifeboat waited for the arrival of the Mersea lifeboat to make sure those on board stayed safe, before returning to the first yacht, and made ready to enter Brightlingsea harbour.


RNLI media contact

  • Richard Wigley, Lifeboat Press Officer, Clacton RNLI: 07903 424698
  • 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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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.

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