Unwanted Christmas presents save lives at sea near Happisburgh

RNLI crews in action at Happisburgh Lifeboat Day.
Photo: SIMON FINLAY

RNLI crews in action at Happisburgh Lifeboat Day. Photo: SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

Bravery, seamanship and resourcefulness were tested during an eventful year at a Norfolk lifeboat station.

Happisburgh RNLI crew was called into action 11 times in 2016, in response to emergencies ranging from a drowning to a wrecked yacht.

The lifeboat was one of many emergency services to take part in the attempted rescue of Leszek Puchala off Sea Palling beach in July.

Mr Puchala, who could not be revived after being pulled unconscious from the waves, had been caught in a rip tide with his son whose life was saved.

Crew members also went to the assistance of a lone sailor whose yacht smashed into groynes and beached at Cart Gap, near Happisburgh in October.


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A further 20 safety interventions were carried out as part of the RNLI's Respect the Water campaign to reduce the number of deaths from drowning.

Now a call is being made for supporters to help keep the service afloat by donating their unwanted Christmas presents.

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Happisburgh Lifeboat press officer Philip Smith said: 'If you have any unwanted Christmas presents please drop them in at the station or station shop.

'We can then raise money for lifesaving equipment for the RNLI by using them for our Lifeboat Day tombola, alcohol tombola or raffle this summer.

'The station would like to wish all our volunteers and supporters a happy and safe new year.'

Happisburgh Lifeboat is always looking for new volunteers and welcomes inquiries from anyone aged 17 or over who is physically fit and lives or works within 10 minutes of the Cart Gap lifeboat station.

Volunteers meet on Sundays at 9am and Tuesdays at 7pm for weekly training exercises.

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