Maroons back to alert rescuers

IAN CLARKE The age-old method of using maroons to alert lifeboat crewmen at Wells has been reinstated.Today maroons were fired ahead of the launch of the Doris M Mann of Ampthill to tow a motor vessel Opal Mist back to the harbour.

IAN CLARKE

The age-old method of using maroons to alert lifeboat crewmen at Wells has been reinstated.

Today maroons were fired ahead of the launch of the Doris M Mann of Ampthill to tow a motor vessel Opal Mist back to the harbour.

The 10m cruiser - with four people from Essex on board - was on its way to Yarmouth when it suffered engine failure just north of Blakeney Harbour entrance.

The Wells lifeboat launched at 2pm and arrived back at 4pm.

It was the second time the maroons have been used - in addition to pagers - to alert the lifeboat crew. Wells was given permission to reinstate them after they had to be withdrawn on health and safety grounds about two years ago.

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Now they are launched from a new site by the pitch and putt course on the Beach Road away from the populated area of the town.

Lifeboat spokesman John Mitchell said: “RNLI found that by withdrawing the age-old method of alerting crews saw a fall off in public awareness in the work the lifeboat.”

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