UPDATE: Lowestoft Lifeboat rescues stranded yacht off Pakefield...and is then called out again
THE busy time for Lowestoft's RNLI Lifeboat continued with two call-outs in quick succession today (Friday).
After towing in a 30-foot yacht, which got into difficulties and almost ran aground near Pakefield, into the harbour the lifeboat was soon launched again to aid a small boat that had run aground. The first call out was at 8am when Richard Musgrove, one of the Launching Authority, was in the harbour's bridge control when he could see a twin masted yacht in trouble close to the shore off Pakefield Church.
The yacht was spotted in trouble at All Saints Road. Witnesses described how one of the yacht's sails 'was flapping in the breeze' and within a few minutes it was being swept away by the tide.
The tide was quickly carrying the boat to the south and the strong onshore breeze drove it towards the beach.
By the time the yacht was almost opposite the Rifle Range and was heading towards the shoreline, the Lifeboat had quickly arrived on the scene.
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Coxswain John Fox said: 'The 30ft vessel was nearly on the beach as a lifeboat crewman quickly transferred to help the two-man crew attach a tow-rope. 'We got there just in time and were able to pull it into the safety of the deeper water before towing it back to Lowestoft Harbour.
'It's jammed rudder caused the problem,' Mr Fox said. 'The yacht was later 'knipped' to the lifeboat to get it safely through the pier heads.'
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The lifeboat was at sea for over an hour in this first shout - and the volunteer lifeboat crew were then called out again at noon after helpers in the Lifeboat Shop on the South Pier saw a broken down small motor boat go on to the south beach in Children's Corner.
Deputy second coxswain, Karl Jackson, donned a dry suit and lifejacket, before jumping into the sea to swim and then wade to the crew on the stranded vessel.
The high tide was just on the turn and the lifeboat was able to recover the boat and tow it back into the yacht basin.
This was the third call-out to boats that had run aground in just two days, and the fourth call in under a month after previous launches at Kessingland and at South Pier yesterday (Thursday).
As well as the RNLI lifeboat crew members, volunteers from the Lowestoft and Southwold Coastguard rescue teams were involved in the three call-outs in the past two days.