Two people rescued in thick fog off coast at Wells

The Wells Lifeboat crew performed a mock-up rescue for the crowd during the station's open day. Picture: Ian Burt The Wells Lifeboat crew performed a mock-up rescue for the crowd during the station's open day. Picture: Ian Burt

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
8:11 PM

Two people have been rescued off the coast at Wells after getting disorientated in thick fog.

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A man and a woman, both in their early twenties, had a lucky escape and had to be rescued by the lifeboat when their walk on Wells beach ended up with them fighting the incoming tide.

Paige Thompson, 20, and 23-year-old Rigo De Abreu, both from Dereham decided to walk out to find the water’s edge.

They had gone about a mile before they reached it.

By this stage the visibility had closed in and what they hadn’t realised was that the tide had started to turn and was coming in behind them.

They tried to get back to safety but soon they were in water up to their knees.

They tried different route but their situation was made more difficult by the sea fog.

They found they were lost and, as they tried to wade back to safety, the sea was quickly up to their armpits. Their situation was made worse by the waves which was buffeting them.

Miss Thompson said, “We tried taking different routes but the sea was coming in so fast and it was extremely cold.”

Luckily, Mr De Abreu had a mobile phone which he managed to keep out of the water and used it to dial 999.

The coastguard immediately alerted the Wells lifeboat and the inshore craft launched within a few minutes.

But they had difficulty in finding the couple as the visibility was now less than 50 metres and they had to keep stopping their engine and hailing them to find their exact location.

Mr De Abreu said: “I had an iPhone and I was able to give them co-ordinates to help them find us which I think helped.”

The pair were soon picked up by the inshore lifeboat and ferried back to safety ashore. Apart from being wet and cold they were no worse for their ordeal.

Lifeboat operations manager, Chris Hardy, said, “They had a lucky escape but they didn’t panic and Rigo, being able to give us co-ordinates, that certainly helped.”

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