‘Relaxing’ Christmas trip on Breydon Water turns into rescue drama

A salvage boat sits alongside the stricken cruiser as efforts were made to re-float it at around 7.3

A salvage boat sits alongside the stricken cruiser as efforts were made to re-float it at around 7.30am on Wednesday morning. Officers from the Gorleston coastguard unit were on hand to advise.Meanwhile crews from the Lowestoft and Southwold unit returned to collect their equipment. - Credit: Archant

Salvage crews have this morning removed a stricken vessel which was at the centre of a rescue of two brothers in Great Yarmouth last night.

Members of the Lowestoft and Southwold Coastguard collecting equpiment they used in a dramatic rescu

Members of the Lowestoft and Southwold Coastguard collecting equpiment they used in a dramatic rescue at Breydon Water the night before. - Credit: Archant

Coastguard and lifeboat crews were called to the scene at Breydon Water near Asda at around 8pm after the two men on board called 999 saying they were stranded on the banks and sinking.

Despite being close to the edge of the water they were unable to jump because of the deep mud and made a second call reporting they were taking on more water than they had first thought and needed urgent help.

Andy Sutherland, station officer at Lowestoft and Southwold Coastguard, who was part of the response team, said there was a real danger the boat could sink or capsize, and that the deep mud made the conditions extra challenging.

Great Yarmouth and Gorleston lifeboat raced to the scene and the crew was able to take the men off the vessel, transporting them to the White Swan pub in Yarmouth where they were handed over to the care of Happisburgh and Gorleston Coastguard teams.

Meanwhile a team in flood suits worked to secure the boat which could otherwise cause a hazard to shipping, possibly hitting the Haven Bridge and breaking up.

The whole operation took just over two hours with Happisburgh and Mundesley Coastguard teams also in attendance as they had been exercising with Lowestoft and Southwold in Corton.

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Mr Sutherland said the boat had lost power and had then been blown onto a stake which had ripped a hole in the hull.

He said: 'The thing with boats taking on water is that they are fine if it is just a bit but if there is too much they can roll over and we could have had people in the water.

'You would not normally get that number of units but because we were out training they sent us too. The people on board were concerned about taking on water and rang back to say they were taking on more than they thought. They could have jumped off but would have got stuck in the mud themselves.'

The boat was secured with ground anchors at Breydon Bridge and taken away this morning for repairs.

Lifeboatman Panos Christophi said Seahorse IV was launched at around 8pm yesterday to the private cruiser.

He said the crew were used to all weather conditions and that last night's dark and windy conditions did not pose a problem.

But because the boat was damaged they did not want to risk towing it.

He added that the two men, believed to be brothers from Dereham, were out enjoying a relaxing few days before Christmas, and were not in any immediate danger being so close to the banks.

They are both said to be safe and well.

Twenty coastguard officers attended.