Man in stable condition after suffering serious burns in boat fire off Great Yarmouth coast

RNLI Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboat holding its annual evening demonstration off the pier at

RNLI Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboat holding its annual evening demonstration off the pier at Gorleston, involving the RNLI Lowestoft Lifeboat, lifeguards and a RAF Search and Rescue helecopter.RNLB Samarbeta in action.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

A man who was airlifted from a boat after suffering serious burns is in a stable condition in hospital.

The crewman was taken off the Arcor Avon dredger by helicopter after a fire broke out in the vessel's engine room seven miles off the Great Yarmouth coast.

Great Yarmouth and Gorleston's all weather lifeboat the Samarbeta was called to the scene at 11.40pm yesterday, arriving on scene in half an hour.

In 30 knot winds and a three metre swell the RNLI crew managed to get alongside the stricken vessel so crew members could go on board and tend to the injured man.

The patient suffered 45 - 50pc burns and was treated on the boat, which still had its dredging equipment out, until the rescue helicopter arrived.

The man was winched into the helicopter alongside lifeboat crewman Rod Wells, who is also a critical care paramedic with the ambulance service, and flown to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

He was later transferred to the burns unit at Broomfield Hospital in Essex where he remains in a stable condition.

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The Arcor Avon remains off the coast of Yarmouth and is expected to be towed into the port once power is restored so the dredging equipment can be stowed.

The lifeboat was back at station by 3.15am today.

Coxswain Paddy Lee said: 'The crew as always worked well.

'We managed to get the two crew members on board on the first attempt, it was a hazardous operation as the dredger still had out its sand scoops as the vessel had lost power to the hydraulics as well as engines, at one point the scoops were two foot from our heads on the steering position and we kept being pushed in by the three metre swell.

'The crew did a great job.'