WATCH: Dramatic scenes as family airlifted to safety from Broads holiday cruiser
PUBLISHED: 11:49 22 September 2020 | UPDATED: 16:58 22 September 2020
A family of six was airlifted to safety after their holiday cruiser ran aground on Norfolk mudflats.
As a thick fog descended emergency services including Great Yarmouth and Gorleston RNLI and three fire crews rushed to the scene at around 4pm on Tuesday (September 21).
The group, including a number of children and two dogs, were reportedly distressed, fearing the boat would capsize amid a fast-flowing tide at Breydon Water, where three rivers meet.
RNLI spokesman Jennifer Rice said the inshore boat the Pride of Leicester struggled to get close enough to the 10m cruiser, which was “high and dry”.
She said: “It was listing quite heavily and they were very, very worried it would capsize.
“The worst case scenario would be that it would have gone on its side.
“It looked quite dramatic for the people on board.”
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The crew called the coastguard rescue helicopter which airlifted the passengers and one dog, one-by-one.
The rescue effort took some three and half hours.
During the response one of the dogs - a Dalmatian named Trevor - bolted onto the mud and could not be coaxed into the lifeboat.
With the lift in process the decision was made to stand down, but a second crew returned, towing the sister boat.
After navigating through thick fog on Breydon Water, the crew came upon the rescue tug from Everitt Marine Services which had managed to retrieve Trevor and was awaiting high water to tow the cruiser off the mud.
Trevor was reportedly happy aboard the Everitt boat so Pride of Leicester returned to station.
Breydon Water is a large tidal expanse where several rivers meet and the currents can be very strong.
Safe passage for boats is shown between red and green markers.
This summer has seen a spike in incidents on the Norfolk Broads, with tragedies having occurred.
The advice in any coastal emergency is to dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.
The RNLI advises people to check routes, have a plan, and know your limitations.
It is also important to check the weather forecast and tide times.
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