Watch: Lowestoft lifeboat recovers two capsized dinghies at racing event

The crew of the Lowestoft RNLI lifeboat Patsy Knight were called after some Topper dinghies capsized

The crew of the Lowestoft RNLI lifeboat Patsy Knight were called after some Topper dinghies capsized. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant

It has been a busy week for the crew of the Lowestoft RNLI lifeboat Patsy Knight – after they were called out for the fourth time in the space of a week.

The Lowestoft lifeboat towed one of the dinghies back to the yacht club. Picture: Mick Howes

The Lowestoft lifeboat towed one of the dinghies back to the yacht club. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant

Just before 3pm yesterday (Saturday, May 14) they received reports that two capsized dinghies were in trouble off the town's South Beach.

The Topper class dinghies were taking part in racing off the coast of Lowestoft when three capsized – although the crew of each craft was soon rescued by the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club (RNSYC) safety boat.

They were taken to meet coastguard officers from Lowestoft & Southwold and also from Gorleston – who carried out welfare checks and offered advice

However, two of the vessels had soon drifted out to sea.


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Lowestoft Lifeboat Coxswain John Fox said: 'We were tasked by Humber Coastguard's to check out two capsized dinghies following 999 calls from concerned members of the public who could see the incident from the shore.

'We met up with the safety boat, which was close to the Claremont Pier with one of the upturned dinghies and they said that they believed that no-one was now in the water.

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'They were concerned about the other two dinghies that had drifted out to sea in the fresh breeze with the North–westerly wind gusting to 28 knots – they asked the lifeboat to try to recover them.

'As there was some confusion if all the sailors were safe, I contacted the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club (RNSYC) and they confirmed that everyone had been accounted for.

'So we set off to search for the drifting dinghies to prevent any further 999 calls from people on the shore.'

The crew then managed to located one of the dinghies about one mile off shore at Kessingland.

'It was on its side and it took four of us to manhandle it onto the stern of the lifeboat,' Mr Fox added.

'We then returned to the other dinghy, which was close to the edge of the Newcome Sands and was upside down.

'The crew managed to right it and discovered that the mast had snapped.

'A tow line was soon attached and we towed it through the choppy sea back to the harbour were it was handed over to the safety boat, then we took the other one back to the RNSYC.'

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