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Four RNLI lifeboats involved in a search for a missing swimmer off Lowestoft

Lifeboats News Release

A major sea and shoreline search was triggered when an overdue swimmer was reported off the Suffolk coast.

Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat returning from the search for a missing swimmer

RNLI/ Mick Howes

Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat returning from the search for a missing swimmer

The UK Coastguard coordinated the multi agency search for a swimmer who was last seen entering the sea at 5pm in the area of Pakefield Beach near Lowestoft and then drifting towards Kessingland.

An unattended pile of clothing along with a towel and keys was also found on the sand.

The search initially involved the volunteer crews on RNLI lifeboats from Lowestoft, Southwold and Gorleston and Coastguard Rescue Teams from Gorleston, Aldeburgh, Lowestoft and Southwold, a Coastguard Rescue Helicopter along with Suffolk Police.

An extensive night-time search using searchlights and white flares was carried out along the coast between Lowestoft and Southwold. But when this search, lasting over six hours, didn’t produce any sightings the crews were stood down until the search could be resumed in daylight.

Lowestoft lifeboat Second Coxswain Karl Jackson said ”The same lifeboats were called out and were joined by a crew from Aldeburgh RNLI, a Coastguard helicopter from Lydd and the Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue team when the search resumed at 8am this morning (Sunday 21st October).

Each lifeboat was given its own search pattern to cover as much of the area as possible. After we had all thoroughly searched the shoreline yesterday, we were all tasked today to look in different areas with our lifeboat searching eight miles off shore to two miles off the beach.

The searching conditions were ideal with good visibility, a calm sea and a bright sunny day. We saw a number of seals and porpoises and some whelk pot marker buoys but sadly not the missing swimmer.”

When the UK Coastguard and crews were satisfied that they had covered as much of the area as the could the lifeboats were stood down soon after 10.30am

RNLI media contacts

· Mick Howes, Lowestoft RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer 01502 562488 / 07814 468917 email mickhowes@hotmail.com

· Kim Platford, Lifeboat Press Officer, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, 01493 662508

· Keith Meldrum, Southwold RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, 01502 725485

· Caron Hill, Aldeburgh Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, 07837 263210 email chillpress@hotmail.co.uk

· Clare Hopps RNLI Regional Media Officer (North East & East), Tel 07824 518641 Clare_Hopps@rnli.org.uk

· Nicola Quinn, RNLI Regional Media Manager, Tel: 07810 658 072. Nicola_quinn@rnli.org.uk

· For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789. For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

Coastguard Helicopter flying over Lowestoft RNLI lifeboat during the search for a missing swimmer

RNLI/ Philip Holdsworth

A Coastguard Helicopter flying over Lowestoft RNLI lifeboat during the search for a missing swimmer

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

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