15:45 24 April 2022
20:03 24 April 2022
Seventeen people including a six-month-old baby, along with a rabbit and two dogs, were evacuated from two beached boats in Great Yarmouth.
The rescue took place on Sunday morning (April 24) at Breydon Water and involved Great Yarmouth and Gorleston RNLI, Hemsby Lifeboat, Everitt Marine Services and HM Coastguard.
Shortly before 5am the lifeboat John Rowntree was tasked by the Humber Coastguard to assist a cruiser which had run aground with 11 people.
The crew made their way to where they liaised with Everitt Marine Services vessel Everitt Marine, who explained that two boats were stranded and EMS personnel were on the vessels to assist passengers .
The crew of the John Rowntree lifeboat then attempted to approach the second vessel – this had been considered a higher priority as there was a young mother and baby, and four other people on board.
However, the lifeboat was unable to get close enough to the distressed vessel due to the receding tide.
The decision was made to contact Hemsby Broads Rescue who have a flat bottom lifeboat.
Once Hemsby was on the scene, they managed to join in and evacuate the five people on board, along with a six-month-old baby, a rabbit and two dogs.
The evacuees were transferred to the John Rowntree which took mother and baby to Yarmouth Yacht station where they were met by the Gorleston Coastguard.
The tide was falling so rescue was urgent.
As the other vessel was not accessible by boat, an HM Coastguard helicopter was tasked with carrying out the evacuation of the 11 people on board.
Meanwhile, Hemsby Broads Rescue and Gorleston ILB held back as security cover.
The helicopter then hoisted the injured from the ship, two people at a time, until six were on board the helicopter, which then landed at the nearby rugby club ground before returning to hoist the injured five remaining people from the ship.
Once everyone was brought to safety, Hemsby Broads Rescue withdrew and returned to the station.
Daniel Hurd, coxswain of Hemsby Broads Rescue, said: “It was an excellent multi-agency effort with ourselves, Gorleston Coastguard, ILB and Rescue 912.”