Hemsby lifeboat volunteers to the rescue after tree blocks road

Members of the Hemsby Life boat working on the fallen tree. Picture: Mike Peake

Members of the Hemsby Life boat working on the fallen tree. Picture: Mike Peake - Credit: Archant

A lifeboat crew raced to the rescue when a large tree was blown down by strong winds at the weekend, completely blocking the road side to side.

The drama began on Sunday evening when villager called vice chairman of Hemsby Parish Council, Mike Peake, with the news.

Mr Peake said: 'I received word a large tree had fallen down on Back Market Lane and that it had missed a car by only about three feet.

'The police had been called and they had contacted the county highways department, but we were told they were extremely busy at the time and would be unable to send anybody to the scene.' Fortunately, Hemsby Inshore lifeboatman Alan Jones had just got in his vehicle and had a notification he had a message on his phone - he discovered it was a message on Facebook which told of the fallen tree.

He said: 'I thought I would go and take a look because as I run my own gardening company my truck was full of tools for the job including a chainsaw. After arriving at the scene and speaking with Mike and the policeman I went and turned around before reversing back down the road and getting in position to cut down the tree.'

Alan, who has been volunteering for the lifeboat crew for three years, contacted his brother Lee Jones, another crew member, and his cousin Scott Grover who were fishing on the beach and they soon joined him to lend a hand.

They cut down the tree, using the tailgate of Alan's truck to reach the higher branches.

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Alan added: 'I started chopping down the smaller branches first before moving on to the bigger branches and the stump itself.

'It was a big tree to be fair, it probably took around half an hour to chop down. You don't really think about the time though when you are doing something like that.

'We were more than happy to help and ensure the area was made safe again. Once the tree was cut down, we made sure to clear the mess up, along with help from the police officer, and put all the branches on the roadside.'

Mr Peake was more than happy with the help the lifeboat crew members had given on the night and was pleased that the situation was resolved.

He said: 'The parish council is very grateful for the help Alan and the other members gave. They didn't have to give up their time to clear the tree but they did and it was such a nice thing for them to do.

'Because of them the road was able to remain open and the area was made safe.'