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Lifeboats and helicopter involved in four hour search for ‘overdue’ boat

PUBLISHED: 13:32 26 May 2020 | UPDATED: 13:33 26 May 2020

The Lowestoft RNLI lifeboat returning from a previous night-time callout. Picture: Mick Howes

The Lowestoft RNLI lifeboat returning from a previous night-time callout. Picture: Mick Howes

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A powerboat that had not returned to its berth and “was possibly overdue” sparked a four hour coastal search.

A coastguard helicopter was also involved in the search. Picture: Picture: RNLI / Mick HowesA coastguard helicopter was also involved in the search. Picture: Picture: RNLI / Mick Howes

HM Coastguard were alerted late on bank holiday Monday evening after concerns were raised for a 19ft Bayliner powerboat, with four people on board.

Two east coast RNLI lifeboats and a coastguard helicopter responded following reports of a small overdue boat from Lowestoft as they searched for four hours into the night and early hours.

With the alarm raised about 10.50pm on May 25, after the vessel had still not arrived at its berth, the Lowestoft RNLI lifeboat ‘Patsy Knight’ was called out at 10.56pm.

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Great Yarmouth and Gorleston all weather lifeboat ‘Samarbeta’ was also called out at 00.30am to join in the search, alongside an HM Coastguard helicopter from Humberside and the local HM Coastguard rescue teams.

Lowestoft Lifeboat Coxswain John Fox said: “Apparently no one saw which way the small vessel, a 19ft Bayliner powerboat, with four people on board, went but the caller to HM Coastguard was concerned that the vessel had not returned to its berth at Lowestoft and that the occupant’s cars were still there.

“It was a new moon so a very dark, but clear night and our volunteer crews used radar, searchlights and night sights to try to locate the vessel.

“We began an inshore search to the south as far as Southwold while Gorleston lifeboat covered the coast from Great Yarmouth to Lowestoft.

“Each lifeboat travelled back and forth a number of times following a recognised search pattern.

“Shortly before 3am we received a message from HM Coastguard to say that the vessel and its occupants had been found safe and well and both lifeboats were stood down and returned to their moorings.”


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