Day of sea rescue drama as lives are saved at Cromer, Sheringham and Sea Palling

An experienced sailor thanked a local lifeboat crew and the RNLI's jetski rescue team after they came to his aid when his boat capsized.

Philip Colley, his two daughters and his daughter's boyfriend were left clinging to the overturned 18ft dinghy in the choppy North Sea off Sea Palling on Sunday afternoon.

The incident was part of a busy two days for rescue teams in the area, as they were called out to deal with a number of incidents.

Mr Colley, who lives at Happisburgh and who used to serve on Happisburgh lifeboat, was out sailing at 5pm with 15-year-old Alice, 13-year-old Amy and Alice's boyfriend Chris Baxter, 17.

He said: 'We launched it and got quite a lot of water in the boat while going through the surf. As we sailed out, we were getting more and more water in. The rudder broke and we turned over.

'Myself and my youngest daughter got on the bottom of the boat, but the other two hung on to the side of the boat and pulled it over. The buoyancy tanks had failed and we couldn't get it back up.'

The RNLI jetski launched and took Alice and Chris back to shore, but efforts to right the dinghy failed - meaning Sea Palling independent lifeboat had to be called.

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The RNLI and the lifeboat worked together to tow the boat ashore.

Mr Colley said: 'My father was a British powerboat racing champion. I've been boating all my life.

'It's the first time I've had to call out the lifeboat. But we never felt in any danger. We knew what the situation was and the water was fairly warm.'

He added: 'I really appreciate the help of both the people on the jetski and the Sea Palling lifeboat.'

Earlier in the day, an RNLI lifeguard administered oxygen and first aid to a woman at Cromer who was eventually taken to hospital with chest pains. At Sheringham, another RNLI lifeguard administered oxygen to a lady who was ill with an undiagnosed problem.

Yesterday lifeguard George Barran, based at Sea Palling, rescued a teenager who had swum out of his depth and was in danger of drowning.

George spotted the boy was waving his hands and in trouble. He grabbed a rescue tube and went to his rescue.

Stuart Thompson, RNLI lifeguard manager, said: 'George reacted quickly, seeing the great danger the boy was in. Although not that far out, he had swum out of his depth.

'I would like to urge beachgoers to pay real attention when swimming. Never swim alone and preferably swim between the red and yellow flags, as this area is patrolled by lifeguards. The sea can very quickly carry people out even further than they intended to be.'

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