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Clacton RNLI lifeboats launched in multi-agency search for vulnerable person

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew of Clacton’s Atlantic 85 and D Class inshore lifeboats were launched as part of a multi-agency search for a vulnerable person reported to have entered the water near ‘Lion Point’ Jaywick.

Clacton’s D Class lifeboat was the first to be launched at 4.20pm on November 20, at the request of the UK Coastguard. On arrival on scene the crew were asked to search inshore from Tower Camp to the Clacton golf course.

Due to the failing light helm Tim Sutton asked that UK Coastguard request the launch of Clacton’s Atlantic class lifeboat to help with the search. This was done, and it launched at 4.40pm.

The Atlantic class lifeboat proceeded to conduct a shoreline search from East to West, while UK Coastguard used their search computer programme to calculate the most likely position of the casualty, based on the tidal flow, speed and direction. The wind direction and speed were also added, giving a defined area in which to search.

This information was relayed to the lifeboat in the form of four coordinates, marking the four corners of a theoretical box needing to be searched. A parachute flare, to light up the search area, and night vision equipment were used to no avail, as nothing was discovered.

Essex Police used their helicopter equipped with night vison and heat detecting capabilities to search the area from the air, while the Coastguard mobile units made a detailed search from the shore.

At 6.15pm, after a detailed search had been completed, both lifeboats were stood down by the Coastguard and returned to station, where they were washed down and made ready for the next time.

Although nothing was discovered on this occasion, helm Tim Sutton wanted to stress that the RNLI always takes reports of this nature seriously and urged anyone who witnessed someone in trouble to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard, even if they were not 100% sure.

Notes to Editors

Atlantic 85 currently on station is the Norma Ethel Vinall of the reserve fleet, while Clacton’s own boat David Porter MPS is away for a refit.

RNLI media contacts

  • Richard Wigley, Lifeboat Press Officer, Clacton RNLI: 07903 424698
  • Clare Hopps, RNLI Regional Media Officer, North East and East: 07824 518641
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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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