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Happisburgh lifeboat launched as fishing boat disappears in building seas

PUBLISHED: 19:01 18 July 2014 | UPDATED: 07:47 20 July 2014

Happisburgh's lifeboats.

Happisburgh's lifeboats.

Archant

Happisburgh lifeboat went to the aid of two men this morning who launched their boat off Cart Gap in a strong south-easterly wind and were not wearing life jackets.

A relative of one of the men became concerned at about 9.45am, as the tide and waves continued to build and the 16ft Shetland fishing boat Sea Hawk could no longer be seen.

Happisburgh’s senior helmsman Tim Grimmer alerted Humber Coastguard and the lifeboat was launched.

The crew, which also included Charlotte Siely and Sean Ferguson, found them off Waxham.

The pair had life jackets on board the boat but Mr Grimmer said they had not put them on until advised to do so.

The lifeboat shepherded them back to Sea Palling where the pair anchored their boat behind the reefs with instructions not to try and get back to Cart Gap until low water at 4pm. They were also told to keep in touch with Humber Coastguard.

But Mr Grimmer said the men had returned at 2pm, when it was still high tide. As they stood in chest-high water trying to put the boat on a carrier it had capsized in the rough surf. Fortunately it did not roll on to them, which could have been serious, said Mr Grimmer.

Although they carried a VHF radio they had used a far less reliable mobile phone, according to Mr Grimmer.

He urged: “If you’re going off, tell someone where you’re going, what time you expect to be back, check the tides, wear a life jacket and take a VHF radio with you which you know how to use.”

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