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Two lives saved by Happisburgh Lifeboat volunteers in jet ski rescue

PUBLISHED: 19:30 18 February 2018 | UPDATED: 19:30 18 February 2018

The Happisburgh Lifeboat volunteers who saved two lives on July 19. Picture: Happisburgh Lifeboat

The Happisburgh Lifeboat volunteers who saved two lives on July 19. Picture: Happisburgh Lifeboat

Archant

Volunteers from Happisburgh Lifeboat Station have been rewarded for a year in which they saved two lives off their coastline.

The team looked back at 2017 with the awards and dinner dance held at Royal Hotel Mundesley on Saturday February 17 .

They were called into action 11 times in 2017 plus 18 safety interventions, part of the RNLI Respect the Water campaign to reduce the number of deaths from drowning.

The callouts included everything from searching for drugs after £50m of cocaine washed up on Norfolk beaches, swimmers ditching their hang gliders and boats and dogs in the sea. Overall this lead to two lives being saved.

The Service Award for Memorable Service was handed out to volunteers who saved two lives on Wednesday, July 19 off the coast of Waxham.

The coastal safety team at Happisburgh Lifeboat said: “The pagers sounded at 3:15pm for reports of a broken down jet ski off the coast at Waxham, drifting out to sea.

“Happisburgh Atlantic, Howard Bell, was on its way at 3.25pm with Tim Grimmer at the helm and Sam Gillard and Martin Gibbs as crew; the Coastguard tasked them to search from Sea Palling towards Winterton. The jet ski had left Sea Palling an hour before the callout.

“The sea conditions were rough when the lifeboat arrived off Waxham; the Coastguard from Winterton could see the jet ski from the top of the sand dunes so they were able to guide the Lifeboat crew to the jet ski which was now one mile off the coast.

“Both persons on the jet ski were uninjured so their craft was towed back to Sea Palling arriving at 4.12pm, where, with the help of the RNLI Lifeguards the jet ski and crew were landed on the beach and looked after by the Lifeguards. Without the intervention of the lifeboat two lives could have been lost.

“It takes a whole team effort to launch the Lifeboat, not just crew. The shore crew were Bob Mann Steve Poll, Mike Forsdick, Eddy Askew, Cubitt Siely, Rob Ferguson, Cedric Cox and Justin Arnold, not forgetting the RNLI Lifeguards Sea Palling.”

Happisburgh RNLI are always looking for new volunteers to help run the lifesaving service. Volunteers meet every Sunday morning at 9am and Tuesday evenings at 7pm for their weekly training exercises.

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